Voyage rates improved for capesizes on the back of higher bunker prices. The majors were again active from West Australia to China and today saw rates reach $4.70 with a 160,000 tonne 10% cargo fixed for 20-22 May shipment from Port Hedland to Qingdao – up about 30 cents over the week. Timecharter rates remained in the doldrums with 170,000 tonners fixed this week for east coast Australian rounds at $3,500 to $4,000 daily.
Saldanha Bay/China rates too moved up with May cargoes booked at $7.80 for 170,000 tonnes 10%.
On the key Tubarao/Qingdao run a 3-13 June 170,000 tonne 10% cargo was fixed at $10.65 while earlier $11.25 was achieved for an 18-27 May 170,000 tonne 10% cargo from Ponta Da Madeira to Qingdao.
Transatlantic trading has been negligible for most of the week but for now the rate on Bolivar/Rotterdam coal run was holding around $5.50.
A slowdown in South American activity undermined the market with much of the May business now absorbed but many May ships are still en route to the area. A 77,000 tonner 2012 built went to a major grain house for 20-30 May delivery east coast South America to the East at just $10,000 daily plus a $100,000 bonus. Further north transatlantic activity and fronthaul trading was again slow and owners appeared to be chasing rates. The US Gulf remained largely inactive and a 77,000 tonner ready 18 May onwards fixed for a trip to the East with grains including dried distillers grains with solubles (ddgs) at $12,000 daily. The East was busier as the week closed out and in some instances owners were able to fix on a dop basis. However the list of ships coming open remained lengthy with owners reluctant to take the now risky option of ballasting to South America. Rates dop for the longer rounds were just about holding around $4,000 daily but for the quicker trips a 75,700 tonner agreed $3,500 daily for a Hong Kong-Indonesia-Philippines trip.
Clinker business to West Africa together with more enquiry to the East led to a more active week in the east Mediterranean/Black Sea area. Rates accordingly started to show some improvement as reports emerged of a 2004 built 56,000 dwt vessel being booked delivery Nemrut Bay for a trip to Singapore-Japan at $9,000 daily. Other regions within the Atlantic remained fairly lacklustre. Earlier in the week, a 2013 built 63,000 dwt ultramax open on the Continent was reportedly fixed for a trip to Singapore-Japan at about $10,500 daily. In the US Gulf a 2010 built 57,000 dwt vessel was fixed for a trip to West Africa at around $10,000 daily.
There continues to be a marked difference in rates for handysizes from the US Gulf which are appreciably lower than South America. A 36,000 dwt agreed $10,000 daily for a trip with sugar from Brazil to Morocco and a 35,000 tonner went from Brazil to the Continent in the high $10,000s.
It appeared to be a very slow week in the East not helped by public holidays in Japan. The south-east Asia trades were very quiet as one report suggested a 2010 built 56,800 dwt ship open Singapore had been fixed on subjects for a trip via Indonesia to Thailand at about $4,000 daily. Handysize activity in Asia included an Imabari 28,000 dwt gave delivery Singapore for a trip via Australia at $4,000 daily and another Imabari type fixed from Singapore at $4,250 daily for a trip via Australia with grain.
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