Simply not enough cargo to absorb the volume of ships coming onto the market and at best rates were just about flat. Paper values perked up briefly Thursday then settled lower and as October closes out little sign of any fourth quarter cheer. The key West Australia/China rate dropped to $4.75 and appeared to have settled there for now with timecharter rates for 180,000 tonners hovering around the $8,000 to $8,500 daily range. Brazil cargoes were in evidence but charterers were able to pick and choose tonnage from ballasters en-route with the rate dropping to $11.35-40 for Tubarao to Qingdao. The north Atlantic remained very slow with transatlantic business in short supply and rates barely around the mid $5.00 range for Bolivar/Rotterdam cargoes. Timecharter activity was negligible but brokers talked of 180,000 tonners receiving bids around $5,000 daily while rates for ships from the Continent willing to go east were in the mid-high teens.
Early ships in the East were chasing business with charterers able to in many instances fix on an aps basis. Today there were rumours of an LME open Yosu fixing at $5,000 daily for a NoPac round while some owners headed off in ballast hoping for better luck the closer they to arriving NoPac or were heading off to the US Gulf. Further south inquiry remained focussed around cargoes destined for India but here some aps rates were agreed and the premium has shrunk with charterers able to secure Panamaxes at significantly under $6,000 daily.
In the Atlantic, there had been some transatlantic trading earlier in the week and owners were resisting further cuts in rates, but this market too has slowed with rates slipping under $5,000 daily with little optimism evident. There was increased grain activity from the US Gulf but here trade was distorted by charterers fixing and failing. Rates hovered around $12,000 daily and $200,000 ballast bonus and about $11,000 daily for ships coming from the Continent via the US Gulf to the East.
Period activity was limited and with rates low owners were trying to resist or opting for longer period. Rates were around $7,000 daily for about a year for average panamaxes delivering in the East.
Generally quiet although activity picked up over the course of the week. There were a number of vessels awaiting their Friday fixture. The Baltic Exchange Handysize and Supramax Index continued to be marked down on most routes.
Only one reported period fixture this week of a 57,572 dwt vessel built 2014 fixing Far East for four to six months about $7,000 daily and overall generally very quiet for on-going period discussions. BSI timecharter average Thursday stands at $6,619 daily with the BHSI at $5,113 daily – down from 2 January 2015 average at $9,239 and $7,239 respectively. Owners now can only dream of these numbers and the peak 25 August this year at $9,770 for BSI and the 4 September peak for the BHSI at $7,053.
The US Gulf appeared the place to be with owners securing better than last done. This included the Soho Merchant 64,000 dwt built 2015 fixed at $14,000 daily for delivery US Gulf for trip Singapore-Japan. A 60,000 tonner secured $15,000 daily for the same trip while a 58,698 dwt vessel concluded for a trip to China at $14,000 daily. The K Opal 55,705 dwt built 2010 fixed delivery US Gulf for a trip Japan at $13,500 daily.
River Plate delivery was paying in the region of $9,750 to $10,000 for trip Algeria/Adriatic for a 55,000 dwt size with a 53,406 dwt covered for a trip from south Brazil to the East at $10,000 daily plus a $100,000 bonus. A 57,000 tonner achieved $10,750 daily plus a $150,000 bonus for a trip from Paranagua to Bangladesh.
From the Continent a 61,500 dwt was booked for a trip to the Far East at $10,500 daily with a Dolphin 57,000 dwt fixed from the west Mediterranean to Nigeria at $7,350 daily.
The East witnessed a slight increase in business this week with Indonesia/India now paying in the $6,500 to $7,500 levels. Backhaul levels tended to be around the $3,500 daily level for first 70 days.
There remained a continued reluctance from owners, charterers and brokers to divulge reportable fixtures. This week’s fixtures included the St Andrew 32,688 dwt delivery dop Cigading for two laden legs redelivery Far East at $6,000 daily. Rumours circulated of a 30,000 tonner booked on subjects delivery the US Gulf for two to three laden legs in the mid $7,000s.
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