An upbeat week generally for the big ships but there remained a fragility about the market that even with rates rising, some became increasingly nervous about how long it would last. The West Australia/China rate certainly reached $5.75 but it was never established whether $6.00 was agreed. Despite rumours of Rio Tinto booking many vessels Thursday, BHP Billiton today paid $5.45 for a ship to move a 29-30 June 170,000 tonne 10% cargo from Port Hedland to Qingdao and took an earlier newcastlemax today at $5.60. Saldanha Bay/China rates rose with $9.30 agreed for an 8-11 July cargo but with rumours that $9.60 was done. Timecharter rates rose too with a 179,000 tonner open Fangcheng reportedly securing $10,000 daily for an east coast Australia round. Period rates too improved with a 181,000 tonner open Qingdao fixing at $12,000 daily for five to seven months trading.
More inquiry in the North Atlantic prompted a rise in rates. There was talk that a 160,000 tonne 10% cargo fixed from Bolivar to Rotterdam at $7.00 and stronger numbers talked on timecharter basis for round voyages.
Brazil/China rates firmed with a 160,000 tonne 10% cargo booked from Tubarao to China for second half July at a rumoured $12.95.
South American activity has largely shaped activity generally. As charterers piled in to take tonnage absorbing ballasters from the East and ships from the North Atlantic, rates rose quickly. The Brazil/China grain rate for 60,000 tonne 10% cargoes from Santos to China hit $26.00 for July. However as the week drew to a close the grain houses took their feet off the peddle and several ships failed, particularly for mid-July cargoes, but there remained operators still needing to take cargoes. Rates hovered around $13,000 and $300,000 bonus for aps east coast South America to the East and around $8,000 daily or so for ships from the Singapore area. It remained to be seen if this is a cooling off period and activity will resume next week. The knock on affect resulted in firmer rates for those ships staying in the North Atlantic with renewed interest for round voyages. A kamsarmax open Cape Passero agreed $9,000 daily for two to three laden legs with redelivery Cape Passero.
US Gulf rates were also stronger both fronthaul and transatlantic. A 75,000 tonner ready 1-10 July agreed a sharply higher $17,250 daily for a trip to the East with ddgs.
In the East rates should hold at least until this current ‘wobble’ for South American loaders is assessed. An 83,000 tonner open Zhangjiang fixed for a trip via east coast Australia to east coast India at $7,750 daily. A 72,000 tonner open Quanzhou allegedly fixed at $7,000 daily for a trip via Indonesia to India.
A more encouraging week for supramaxes in most areas. In the Atlantic the US Gulf markets continued to push and although the week ended on a quiet note, rates being discussed were still thought to be relatively firm. In the South Atlantic, tonnage open in West Africa was now being fixed on a ‘dop’ basis for trips via east coast South America. It was reported that a 2007 built 55,700 unit had been fixed delivery West Africa for a trip via Brazil to the Continent at $7,750 daily. On this side however, the east Med/Black Sea markets still seemed to be languishing in the doldrums. A 2011 built 56,000 dwt ship was reported to have been fixed delivery Canakkale for a trip via the Black Sea to Singapore-Japan at $8,500 daily.
In the East, the south east Asian coal market was looking significantly firmer. A 2003 built 52,400 dwt ‘Tess 52’ type was reported to have been fixed delivery passing Galle (Sri Lanka) for a trip via Indonesia to India at about $8,000 daily. A 2010 built 57,000 dwt ‘Dolphin’ type open east coast India was also reported to have been fixed for a trip via Indonesia back to east coast India at a better $6,500 daily.
The handysizes were also enjoying some better returns. A 2009 built 32,000 dwt ship was said to have been fixed delivery east coast Central America for a trip to Greece at just under $10,000 daily. In the East, earlier in the week a 2009 built 28,000 dwt unit was fixed delivery Kobe for a trip via Japan to the PG at around $9,500 daily.
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