A promising start to the week with sharp improvements in the Atlantic and steady rises in the East, but rates slipped as the week drew to a close with some aggressive numbers talked. Both fronthaul and transatlantic rates climbed, with the Puerto Bolivar/Rotterdam rate talked well into the $9.00s and fronthaul rates around $30,000 daily. As the week closed out a Cargill vessel fixed with GdF at $8.40 and suggesting something in the low $8.00 range has been agreed. Rio Tinto secured the Ekaterini 2012 built (which had previously fixed and failed around $17,500 daily for a transatlantic round) for a 170,000 tonne 10% cargo from Seven Islands to Qingdao at an easier $18.00.
Brazil/China rates moved higher with a hiccup as week drew on and then talk today that business was negotiating for 20 August in the $15.00 range.
In the East, the key West Australia/China runs were holding in the upper $5.00s having tipped over $6.00 briefly and then dropping back to $5.75 and today hitting $6.00 once again. Timecharter rates dipped but there was talk today of an 180,000-tonner fixing for a Roberts Bank round at $14,750 daily.
Saldanha Bay/Qingdao rates were erratic but today ship went on timecharter at a rate equating to near $10.00 and possibly more.
The pace slowed from South America with many of the major charterers side-lined or talking the market lower, but equally many of the ships en route giving ETAs towards the end of August. There remained limited tonnage for early cargoes if they should appear. Rates were still around the $13,000 daily plus a $300,000 bonus for standard tonnage.
Prompt tonnage remained tight further north with owners preferring longer trips but equally charterers preferring to wait. A 74,000 tonner open Barcelona agreed $11,500 daily for a couple laden legs within the Atlantic. In the US Gulf a 72,000 tonner built 1998 fixed from the US Gulf 5-10 August for a trip to the East at a healthy $20,500 daily but for ddgs.
Spot fixing has slowed in the East but so far rates were steady but possibly toppy as owners start to reduce their rate ideas. Rates for round voyages were largely hovering around $8,000 daily for standard types. Period trading slowed considerably as week closed out especially as increasing owners wanted period of up to a year with rate about $8,000 daily for standard ships.
A busy week with a good amount of business concluded. However, as the last week of July approached some brokers feared the market is nearing the top while charterers held off fixing too far forward.
Period employment again has been popular with a few of the bigger charterers. The 57,000-58,000 dwt sizes paying in the region $8,000 daily for short period with Asia deliveries and Middle East deliveries now achieving in the mid $8,000s daily. The newer/larger ultramaxes now seem to be collecting low $9,000s daily in the East and low $10,000s daily in the Middle East.
Trading has increased from the Black Sea this week for the handysizes with rates ranging between $6,000 to $10,000 daily depending on the ship and destination. In the US Gulf there been a few reports of handies fixing wood pulp to the Continent around $11,000 daily.
Highlighted fixtures this week for the smaller sizes included a 27,000 tonner fixing from the Continent to India at $11,000 daily.
A 30,000 tonner agreed $10,000 daily from Point Lisas/Guyana/Black Sea at $10,000 daily and a 29,000 tonner picking up a healthy $14,900 daily delivery Santos for trip to the Continent.
Supramaxes in the US Gulf were still seeing good rates ranging from the upper teens/early twenties for various destinations. A 58,000 tonner achieved $17,500 daily from the US Gulf to Turkey.
Overall, in the East rates have not mirrored owners’ expectations within the Atlantic. Highlighted fixtures for the bigger ships included a well named 66,000 tonner fixing delivery Japan for NoPac round voyage at $9,250 daily.
For daily dry bulk assessments from the Baltic Exchange please visit www.balticexchange.com/market-information/