The first week of the year is well and truly up and running. Brokers are trying to make sense of it all and owners are having to face the prospects of sitting spot, waiting, ballasting and accepting poor levels. Today the BDI finished at its lowest level ever at 429.
As rates reached near record lows there was little cheer evident in any section of the capesize market. Rates slumped on all routes with 170,000 tonnes 10% West Australia to China again under $3.00 with timecharter rates barely reaching $3,000 daily, with some charterers now talking significantly less for Australian round voyages. The rate for Saldanha/China for the same size was now at $4.50 and a 135,000 tonne 10% cargo fixed from Saldanha to Hamburg at $2.90.
There was one brief moment earlier this week when an injection of some fresh business in the north Atlantic saw some hopeful of at least stability. However some owners/operators with ballasters heading towards the Atlantic appeared keen to re-position some vessels there and chased the business. Rates for 160,000-tonne 10% cargoes from Bolivar to Rotterdam fell to under $4.00. From the St. Lawrence Rio Tinto allegedly fixed a 170,000 tonne 10% cargo from Port Cartier to Qingdao at a rate nudging the mid $10.00s.
Tubarao/Qingdao rates were hovering around the mid $6.00 level.
The brief stability for panamaxes was short lived as the sheer volume of tonnage in the market allowed charterers to continue to drive rates lower. Charterers were still showing interest in period tonnage but with so far little new reported fixed and rates for short period in the East just about $5,000 daily but still very much a premium over spot numbers. Round voyages in the East were largely being done on an aps basis with the dop equivalent unlikely to be less than $3,000 daily. A 73,000 tonner was rumoured fixed for a NoPac round at $3,000 daily but with Kashima delivery.
There had been some improvement for trips from the US Gulf to the East but the pressure was said to have eased and rates were again heading south. A 77,000 dwt grain house controlled vessel agreed $6,800 daily for a trip via the US Gulf to the East. Transatlantic trading remained scarce and although there have been weather related delays northwest Europe the list of ships continued to lengthen. Early in the week short Baltic rounds were being fixed around $4,000 to $5,000 daily while from South America a 76,500 tonner fixed for end January delivery at $5,750 daily for a transatlantic run. The ship is ballasting from the East.
Ultramax and supramax are now accepting $6,000-$6,250 levels for 12 months period with Atlantic and Far East deliveries.
This week it emerged that Recalada to Pakistan paid $8,000 daily plus $90,000 ballast bonus for a 58,429 dwt vessel. A 56,530 dwt fixed further east with redelivery Singapore-Japan at $7,350 per day plus $75,000 ballast bonus. East coast south America to the Mediterranean has been fixing in the region $6,000-$6,500 daily for sizes 57,000/58,0000 dwt. US Gulf/Morocco concluded at $9,500 daily with a 56,000 dwt and a trip to Continent for a similar size went at $5,900 daily. The Port Macau a 2008 built Tess 58 was said to have fixed from the US Gulf to Japan at $10,500 per day.
The market in the Far East commenced a tad slower. A 53,734 dwt fixed delivery Longkou trip via North China with redelivery west coast India/Karachi at $6,100 daily. The Prabhu Parvati a 2003 built 56,060 dwt was fixed basis delivery Campha for a trip via Indonesia with redelivery India at $3,000 daily. Another supramax fixed delivery Singapore for the same trip at $4,300 daily. A Japan to A.G. cargo paid $3,500 daily on a 55,598 dwt vessel, whilst a 57,461 dwt built 2009 accepted $3,750 for an East Kalimantan to Thailand run. Currently new building deliveries are exacerbating the tonnage build up which is outstripping the available cargo.
There has been minimal serious change with levels just ticking along with no real change on most routes. Perhaps the US Gulf might be leading the way.
There was talk of a 34,000 dwt fixing SW Pass to Spanish Mediterranean at $6,250 daily and another 32,000 dwt securing $7,500 daily for a trip to West coast central America. Between the Christmas and New Year holidays a 2011 built 29,029 dwt fixed $4,250 daily for a trip from east coast South America to the Continent. This week also witnessed a 28,221 dwt and a 33,773 dwt covering delivery Singapore for an Australian round voyage at $3,750 and $4,000 daily respectively.
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