Another week of largely flat rates with the odd firmer rate reported. Today the West Australia/China run for 170,000 tonne 10% cargoes hovered around $4.30 to $4.40 for 16-19 February loading dates with now one of the majors reportedly paying $4.75 for a ship to load 11 February. Timecharter activity was limited although a newbuilding 180,000 dwt ex yard Sundong was rumoured fixed for an Australian round at $5,500 daily. There was a spike in rates for Brazil loaders as the week closed out with a 19-28 February 160,000/10 cargo fixed from Sepetiba to Qingdao at $11.00.
North Atlantic trading was limited but the list of ships here remained tighter than the East. A spot replacement commanded $12,500 daily for a Narvik round after the original ship missed her cancelling having agreed $11,000 daily. For 150,000-tonne 10% cargoes from Bolivar to Rotterdam the rate hovered around the low $6.00 range.
Unsettling times for panamax operators with the BDI near historic lows and the BPI continuing to slide. Transatlantic trading remained negligible with charterers able to secure voyage rates at their ideas with little or no negotiation. A 74,000 tonner 2005 built fixed from Santarem to the Continent with grain $7,000 daily with no bonus.
The lack of bonus payments from the US Gulf front-haul appeared the norm but some owners were resisting current rates on offer prompting charterers to have to pay firmer numbers. A good kamsarmax open Gijon agreed aps US Gulf for a trip to China at $13,000 daily – an improvement on last done. South American activity was intermittent and those ships coming from Asia and the Indian Ocean area saw rates barely holding at $11,000 daily plus a $100,000 bonus for economical ships.
There has been significantly more fixing in the East but with a long list of nearby ships rates continued to fall. Charterers were fixing aps basis at very low levels with talk that LMEs were seeing little more than the mid $2,000 daily level for NoPac round voyages with China delivery. A 14 year old 74,000 tonner open Longkou went at $2,000 daily for a trip via Indonesia to India.
With South America activity limited and spot rates falling, some owners appeared willing to take split rates for period. A 76,000 tonner open China allegedly agreed $4,100 daily for the first 50 days of a 4/6 month period with the first leg alumina from Bunbury to the Persian Gulf with the balance at $6,750 daily.
In the Atlantic, with the possible exception of the US Gulf area, it has been another difficult week for the owners. In the US Gulf however, there was at least a glimmer of hope as vessels in early positions were able to achieve somewhat improved levels. Earlier in the week it was reported that a 2010 built 56,800 dwt ‘Dolphin’ type had been booked for a scrap run to Turkey at a better $10,500 daily. Further south, however, it was a familiar story of falling rates. A 2007 built 56,071 dwt ‘Mitsui’ type was reportedly fixed delivery south Brazil for a trip to Singapore-Japan at $9,000 daily + $90,000 ballast bonus.
Handysizes in both US Gulf and South America, with little to report continue to find life very hard as owners face falling rates and also likely having to wait, with much the same picture in the Pacific.
In the East, owners once again faced another week of dismal returns but there was a flicker of interest in the Arabian Gulf area as reports emerged of a 2002 built 50,200 dwt being booked by European interests delivery Mesaieed for a trip to India with limestone at a respectable $8,250 daily. Further east, there was at least some back-haul business being fixed. A 2014 built 63,800 dwt ‘ultramax’ was reported to have been fixed by Chinese interests delivery north China for a trip to the US Gulf at $3,000 daily for the first 70 days and $9,000 daily thereafter.
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