A positive start to the week for capesizes but then holidays bit into the market and rates dropped sharply and found a floor for a couple of days, but then started to firm again. Rates near $6.50 were agreed at the end of last week and early this week for West Australia/China, only to drop to $5.70 by Tuesday and recover to over $6.00 today. However South Korea is off next week and a Chinese holiday begins 1-7 October. This could produce a flurry of activity and so far rates were steady to firmer. A 181,000 tonner closed out the week fixing a round voyage in the East at $17,000 daily. The Brazil/China run saw rates climb to over $14.00 at the end of last week to slip back to the $11.00s and then rumours that here too rates could firm. Even transatlantic rates showed improvement as the week closed out with a 180,000 tonner open Gijon fixing a transatlantic round (although include Israel trading) at $15,000 daily.
A lack of activity from the US Gulf and a significant slowdown from South America combined with holidays impacted on rates. Most were hoping for a step up in shipments in the last quarter from the US Gulf to China but as yet this has been piecemeal. Voyage rates to China were hovering around $31.00 to $31.50 while timecharter values for kamsarmaxes were around the mid-upper $12,000 daily plus upper $200,000 bonus and $12,000 and $200,000 daily for 74,000 tonners. Transatlantic rates from the US Gulf also slumped with a 75,000-tonner fixing from Cristobal to move petcoke to the Mediterranean at $7,000 daily plus a $70,000 bonus.
As paper values fell period charterers retreated from the market and today there were rumours a kamsarmax fixed for a short period at $7,500 daily. Single trip rates came under pressure with little fresh booked in the East although most talked of cargo still to be fixed and most owners hoping for a pre Chinese holiday rush.
Three months until Christmas with no current signs for early presents on the horizon for owners. The downward trend for handysize and supramax continued this week with Eid and various holidays in Japan and Singapore adding to the problem. Next week the Chinese holidays will likely reduce fixture activity in the Far East.
Period business has this week seen a Tess 58 fixing 10 to 14 months delivery Richards Bay in the region $8,000 daily while a 37,600 dwt secured $7,500 for three to five months redelivery Far East. The Yasa Gulten 2005 built Mitsui 56 agreed $7,600 from China for short period to Gearbulk. In the Atlantic a 28,100 dwt fixed delivery Boston for three to five months redelivery Atlantic at a good $9,000 per day.
Rates overall were down on last done with US Gulf/Continent now paying $14,000 daily for a 58,616 dwt 2014 built vessel. In addition the TTM Harmony 2011 buillt 55,873 dwt fixed delivery New Amsterdam for trip to Ireland at $11,500.
Black Sea to Spain paid $7,450 for a 58,716 dwt and a similar size secured $11,000 per day for a leg from Port Said to West Africa. For the smaller sizes there were reports of a 32,000 tonner concluding a Continent delivery for trip to Far East at $11,000 daily. Nordic fixed the Bianco Venture 2004 built 33,733 dwt from Damietta to West Africa at $8,500 daily.
Louis Dreyfus took the Athena 2011 built 61,150 dwt delivery Santos with sugar to Chittagong at $10,750 plus a $150,000 ballast bonus.
In the East, Indonesia/India paid $7,250 daily for a 57,000 dwt while a Singapore delivery for the same business/size paid $6,500 daily. A Tess 58 fixed to Western Bulk Carriers from Vancouver to Bangladesh at $7,400 daily plus a $150,000 ballast bonus.
A 66,000 dwt ultramax was said on subjects for Indonesia via Australia to the US Gulf with rates rumoured to be in the upper $2,000s.
Brokers reported a China/Med for supramax went in the $4,000s.
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