A grim week for the big ships, with cheaper bunkers doing little to alleviate the pain of current low rates. On the West Australia/China run $5.00 has been done for a 1-5 January 170,000 tonne 10%, with one of the few majors still in the market looking to fix lower. Timecharter rates were negligible with rumours of a round in the East booked at $4,000 daily. The Saldanha/Qingdao rate has been slashed with a 16-18 January 170,000 tonne 10% cargo allegedly fixed at $6.75. Brazil remained very slow with little reported fixed to China although a 130,000 tonne 10% cargo was done earlier this week from Tubarao to Kaohsiung reportedly at $12.00. Transatlantic rates too dropped sharply with a 178,000 tonner fixed earlier this week at $3,250 daily and a 179,000 tonner ready Rotterdam from 27 December fixed to a Japanese charterer at $3,500 daily.
As expected activity for the prompt ships in the Atlantic has all but dried up. Forward business was evident but even this was being done at lower rates. January grain cargoes have been fixed from the US Gulf to China around $37.00 to $38.00 while the timecharter rate for a mid-January kamsarmax in the Gulf was barely above $14,000 daily and $400,000 bonus. Transatlantic activity was in short supply although a 65,000 tonne ore cargo was rumoured booked from Aratu to Rotterdam at under $14.00.
In the East, charterers were able to secure ships on an aps basis as owners chased cover before the holidays. A post panamax fixed from Newcastle to Qingdao at just $5,000 daily plus a $290,000 bonus. However a 77,000 tonner open Japan managed $7,250 daily for an Australian round.
There were few takers for period tonnage and the little concluded was at easier numbers with an 87,000 tonner fixed at $8,000 daily for four to six months trading with Sakaide delivery.
A quiet week in the Atlantic, with rates easier in most areas with the possible exception of the South Atlantic where reports emerged of a 2010 built 57,000 dwt unit open prompt in West Africa being booked for a trip via east coast South America to Singapore-Japan at a relatively healthy $13,000 daily. On this side a nice 2008 built 58,700 dwt ‘Tess 58’ type open Aughinish was reported to have been fixed for a scrap run to the east Med at an easier $9,000 daily. Further south, a 2010 built 56,700 dwt ship was reported to have been fixed for a trip delivery Canakkale 23/26 December for a longer duration trip via the Black Sea with grain to Singapore-Japan at about $10,500 daily.
In the run up to the Christmas holidays, South America while not exactly the life and sole of the party has seen better numbers for handysizes. A 32,000 tonner, open in an attractive position up river obtained $13,500 daily for a trip from the Plate to the west Mediterranean. Earlier in the week a 36,000 dwt, open Brazil, fixed a trip via Argentina to the west Med around $11,000 daily. Elsewhere handysizes open US Gulf and Continent appeared to be slow and on the wane.
In the East, the market appeared to be steadier with the usual coal business from Indonesia to India keeping things moving. Further north there was talk that ‘index’ types open South Korea/Japan had been fixed for NoPac rounds at rates varying between the ‘low $9,000’s’ and $10,000 daily, although the exact details were often slow to emerge.
Handysize activity in the East was generally kept under wraps, however dig deeper and decent levels appear to be on the table. There were rumours a late 90s built 30,000 dwt obtained $7,000 daily for a trip to east coast South America and talk a 28,000 tonner had seen $8,000 daily for two to three legs, but the owner was asking for a higher level.