Rates continued to tumble as owners/operators scrambled to fix after hopes of a better last quarter evaporated, with the BDI Thursday at a record low (504) in the 30th year of the Baltic indices. Levels were approaching records for the big ships but still not quite there with the West Australia/China rate just holding at $4.00. This rate is over $46.00 under the high recorded on this run in June 2008. Timecharter rates dropped with a 180,000 tonner fixed at $6,000 daily for a West Australian round voyage. The Saldanha/China rate slumped to $5.75 for a 170,000 tonne 10% cargo for December dates, with charterers here taking advantage of the many vessels in ballast eyeing South Africa or Brazil. Charterers continued to drive the Tubarao/Qingdao rate lower with rates now nearer to the mid $7.00s than $8.00 – just over $100 lower than the highest value recorded 4 June 2008. Transatlantic activity remained limited and here too rates were under $4.50 for cargoes from Tubarao to Rotterdam and under $5.00 from Puerto Bolivar to Rotterdam.
A gloomy outlook here but there were just tentative signs that rates possibly found a floor in the East albeit at very low levels with some again fixing on a dop basis with up to now owners largely having to accept aps delivery. There was a touch more NoPac and Australia although levels were little more than the low mid $4,000 daily plus a $120,000 to $150,000 bonuses. A 74,000 tonner 14 year old vessel agreed $4,250 daily plus a $120,000 bonus but more modern ships agreeing more. Owners were looking to short period but here charterers were trying for discounts on the first 30 days and a wider spread on duration. A kamsarmax open Kunsan agreed $5,600 daily for five to eight months trading.
The Atlantic fared little better with activity in the north negligible. A kamsarmax agreed $8,000 daily for dop Philadelphia for a trip via the US east coast at Cape Passero redelivery. Fronthaul rates were just holding around $8,000 to $8,500 daily but charterers were able to slash voyage rates with 60,000 tonne 10% grain cargoes fixed at under $25.00 from the US Gulf to China via the Cape of Good Hope. Further south grain shipments from east coast South America to the East have slowed and charterers were able to secure good ships passing the Cape of Good Hope around $6,500 daily plus a $150,000 bonus and in some instances lower.
It was another week where rates were firmly encamped in charterers’ favour and downward pressure across all areas.
Rumours surfaced that even bunkers only had been done on a 57,000 dwt for a trip basis Jorf Lasfar redelivery in the US Gulf. From east coast of South America rates seemed to be settling at close to $10,000 daily plus a $100,000 ballast bonus depending upon actual specifics of the vessels involved for usual agriprod trips out to the East. There were also reports of vessels waiting up to two weeks prior to commencement of laycans.
The Black Sea remained relatively quiet and rates for supramaxes are now in four digits with 58,000 tonnes now being covered at around $7,500 to $8,000 daily for trips out east. From the US Gulf again rates were under pressure with 56,000 dwt ships now willing $9,500 daily for trips east and forward voyage cover now being concluded at around mid $20.00s for US Gulf/China Supra size grain stems.
From the East rates also eased this week where a 50,000 dwt 2002 built was said to have fixed basis delivery Philippines for an Australia round. From Indonesia 57,000 dwt vessels were trading in the $4,500 to $5,000 levels back to Singapore-Thailand areas with similar rates to the Indian Ocean.
The only ‘brightish’ area seemed to be the inter Persian Gulf aggregates trades where the Flag Mersinidi 2012 built 56,754 dwt was fixed basis delivery Jebel Ali for about 30 days redelivery Mesaieed at $6,250 daily.
For handysize again relatively little came to light but brokers suggested within the southeast Asia/Far East basins charterers were rating 28,000 dwt vessels in the mid $3,000s for Australia rounds basis delivery passing Singapore.
SAIL fixed a 33,000 tonne 5% coal from Beira to east coast India basis 25-30 November dates at $13.95 and are also said to have fixed a 8-13 December cargo at $13.45.
In the Atlantic, pressure remained again with vessels needing to fix. From the east coast of South America the Nordic Visby 2010 built 35,052 dwt was covered basis delivery Recalada prompt for a trip to the Mediterranean at approximately $4,850 daily.
With a large amount of tonnage available looking forward it appeared unlikely that any resistance will be forthcoming in the short term.
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