A slight rally earlier in the week with an increase in transatlantic and fronthaul cargoes highlighting a tightening of North Atlantic tonnage. A 180,000-tonner fixed for a transatlantic round at $11,000 daily and 170,000 tonner went at $9,000 daily but since then rates have eased. Fronthaul rates reached $15,500 daily with a 180,000 tonner booked from Cape Passero for a trip via the US East Coast to the East. Limited trade yet again from Brazil but an end January-early February 160,000-tonne 10% cargo fixed from Tubarao to Qingdao at $10.60.
The West Australia/Qingdao rate at least held above $4.00 and as the week closed out there was a rumour one of the major shippers fixed a 170,000 tonne 10% cargo from Port Hedland to Qingdao at $4.35, but similarly there was also a rumour $4.10 was agreed for a 160,000-tonne 10% cargo on the same run. Timecharter rates too remained at low numbers with a 180,000 tonner barely fixing above $4,000 daily for Australian rounds. A coal cargo was fixed from Gladstone and Dalrymple to Rotterdam on voyage basis that allegedly showed the owner minus $3,000 daily over 90 days.
The Atlantic focus remained on fronthaul cargoes with fixing from the US Gulf and east coast South America to the East although the latter continued to be serviced by ships coming from the Indian Ocean area and further afield. Rates in both areas hovered around the mid $12,000 daily plus mid $200,000 bonus with some higher and slightly lower rates agreed depending on the specification of the ships. Voyage rates for 55,000 tonne 10 hss grain cargoes from the US Gulf to north China for 1-10 February settled around $33.50 and $24.50 for 60,000 tonne 10% hss cargoes from Santos to China around $24.50 albeit for more forward shipment. Transatlantic activity was again limited with charterers largely fixing on voyage basis. However one charterer caught on dates fixed a kamsarmax from the US Gulf to the Continent at $11,500 daily plus a $150,000 bonus – this rate had been barely more than $10,000 daily plus a $100,000 bonus.
The East has seen active fixing for most of the week but even with relatively sustained inquiry from the NoPac and continued activity from Indonesia owners were largely just able to fix on a dop basis. The list of tonnage remained lengthy and only eco ships saw rates in the mid $6,000 daily range from Japan-South Korea for NoPac rounds. A 75,000-tonner agreed $6,300 daily plus a $225,000 bonus for 1-10 February delivery NoPac for a trip to Singapore-Japan.
Those looking for a floor to the supramax market this week were left disappointed as tonnage lists continued to lengthen in most areas. Charterers were able to pick and choose in the South Atlantic where it was reported that a 2006 Japanese built 53,500 dwt vessel was booked for a trip from Recalada to Singapore-Japan at $10,500 daily plus a ballast of $100,000. In the US Gulf a 2012 built 57,000 dwt ‘Dolphin’ type was reportedly fixed for a trip with pet coke to China at $12,500 daily.
In the East, ‘rates + ballast bonus’ levels were now appearing on a regular basis in the Indonesian market. A 2013 built 61,000 dwt ultramax open north China was reported to have been fixed delivery Indonesia for a trip to India at $8,000 daily plus a ballast bonus $100,000. A few short period fixtures were starting to emerge albeit at relatively modest levels. A 2008 built 58,000 dwt ‘Tess 58’ type open north China was said to have been booked for three to five months trading at around $10,000 daily.