It seems the capesizes have yet to find a floor in the run up to the holidays with rates on all key routes dropping daily. Today saw $5.20 agreed for a 27 December onwards 170,000 tonne 10% cargo from West Australia to Qingdao – a drop of $2.5 in a week with the round voyage equivalent showing barely $2,500 daily. Having said that, a 174,000 tonner open Xingang fixed towards the end of the week for what brokers called a better-than-expected $8,100 daily for an east coast Australian round.
The Saldanha/Qingdao rate was slashed this week with a 170,000-tonne 10% cargo for 7-10 January done at $8.35.
Period rates looked almost buoyant in comparison with a 175,000-tonner booked for a year at $12,800 daily.
Cargoes remained minimal from Brazil, with the assessed rate for 160,000 tonne 10% cargoes to China not even in the mid-teens. A 180,000 tonner ballasting from the East was said to have agreed just $6,000 daily plus a $130,000 bonus. Transatlantic rates too headed south with a 178,000 tonner open Taranto next week fixing with Gibraltar delivery for a round at $3,250 daily, redelivery Skaw-Cape Passero.
A bearish end to the week for panamaxes in the Atlantic with most of the early cargoes covered and little replacement, certainly for the increasing number of ships coming open in the next few days. There has been forward business but those charterers still looking for earlier tonnage sat on the side-lines sensing a falling market. Earlier a 75,000 tonner fixed from Amsterdam 11-15 December for a trip via the Baltic to the Mediterranean at $10,000 daily with redelivery Cape Passero. In the US Gulf a post panamax fixed from the Mississippi River to Rotterdam at $12,000 daily plus a $200,000 bonus. It appeared almost all December business from the US Gulf to the East has now gone. South America trades too were limited with ships from the Indian Ocean area still looking to this market with rates barely around $13,000 daily plus $300,000.
In the East, charterers have their pick of ships with rates dropping for NoPac rounds and now from South East Asia. Ballasting south for those ships in north China left few options. Rates for the BPI types for NoPac rounds were barely in the $7,000 daily range. A 73,000-tonner coming open Shanghai 17 December fixed for a trip via Indonesia to India at $7,000 daily.
A difficult week for the supras in the North Atlantic as reports emerged of a nice 2012 built 58,000 dwt vessel being fixed for a trip from the west coast UK to the east Mediterranean with scrap at around $13,000 daily. The market in the east med was also fairly uninspiring, a big 2014 built 63,800 dwt unit was reportedly fixed for a trip delivery Canakkale via the Black Sea with redelivery south Korea involving a duration of about 55 days at $13,250 daily.
At least there is a more positive tone for handysizes from South America, where a 28,000 tonner obtained in excess of $9,500 daily for a trip from the Plate to the Mediterranean. A similar size vessel secured dop West Africa for a trip via South America. At the end of the week a good three year old 34,000 tonner was said to have obtained around $13,000 daily for a trip Plate/Morocco.
Levels from the US remain healthy where a 37,000 dwt open US East Coast secured $12,100 daily for a trip to Morocco. A 33,000 dwt was rumoured to have gone for a trip US Gulf to the west coast at over $13,000 daily.
A flurry of coal fixtures from South East Asia at the end of the week gave some substance to the conditions in the East and the market appeared to be at least steady. A 2012 built 57,500 dwt ship was said to have been fixed delivery Singapore 17/22 December for a trip via Indonesia to east coast India at $12,750 daily.
In the Indian Ocean a 2009 built 58,800 dwt ‘Tess 58’ type was fixed delivery Richards Bay mid-December for two to four months trading at about $11,000 daily plus a ballast bonus of $240,000.
Handysizes in the Pacific look to be holding their own with decent levels paid for the longer trips and for the less popular destinations such as the Indian Ocean, although details are hard to come by. A 28,000 tonner in South East Asia was rumoured to have agreed around $8,000 daily for two/three legs.