Record lows this week for all sizes with the capesizes particularly hard hit and now more owners are beginning to take the option of idling vessels or considering lay-up. The West Australia/Qingdao rate was hovering around $2.90-2.95 as the week closed out for later January positions while timecharter rates were now under $3,000 daily for 180,000 tonners with some talk of a 179,000 tonner open Rizhao agreed $1,300 daily for a West Australian round. The rate from Saldanha/Qingdao for 170,000 tonne 10% cargoes dropped to just $4.00. From Brazil, 170,000 tonne 10% cargoes from Tubarao to Qingdao were now around $5.50 while Tubarao/Rotterdam 170,000-10 per long ton fell to $2.47, a rate not seen since the 1970s. The coal run from Puerto Bolivar/Rotterdam was allegedly now at $3.35. Some sources said a 180,000 tonner open Cape Passero fixed a round voyage at just $1,800 daily with Gibraltar-Rotterdam redelivery and just $200 daily more if Cape Passero-Skaw. Period rates agreed summed up the interim view of the market with a 180,000 tonner spot in China fixing for 11 to 14 months trading at $5,300 daily.
There has been a reasonable volume of fixing but rates continued to slip with owners often having to accept less than last done. Flooding issues upstream in the US Gulf and then silting Southwest Pass, where the draft has been cut, has stalled any spot-prompt trading. An eco, 87,000 tonner accepted $6,000 daily for 1-15 February delivery Southwest Pass for a trip to Gibraltar-Skaw. Fronthaul activity remained negligible and further south rates fell for ships ballasting from the East to South America for cargoes. A 74,000 tonner 2001 built reportedly fixed from the Cape of Good Hope via east coast South America to the East at under $4,000 daily and under $100,000 bonus. A 60,000 tonne 10% grain cargo went at a low $12.60 from Brazil to China.
In the East, the activity was there but the rates slipped. The rate for aps NoPac to the East had held for the early part of the week at $4,000 daily plus $100,000 with the size of the ship almost immaterial, but as the week drew to a close a 2001 built 74,000 tonner fixed a fertiliser cargo from NoPac to China at $3,650 daily plus an $80,000 bonus while a 76,000 tonner fixed a grain cargo from NoPac to China at $3,700 daily plus an $80,000 bonus. Further south a kamsarmax agreed $3,250 daily for Hong Kong delivery 20-25 January for a trip from Indonesia to Japan.
It was of some concern this week that there was conversation about a degree of lay-up, apparently both Athens and Malaysia are having a large number of enquiries.
The BDI continued to fall on a daily basis with nearly all handy and supramax index routes having a gradual daily decrease.
Business in the Period market was sporadic however sources reported a 64,000 dwt covered delivery in the Far East in direct continuation for 8-12 option for 8-12 months at $6,000 daily. Indeed, $6,000 was one of the highest rates paid this week for a non US Gulf delivery. Apparently a 35,000 dwt vessel fixed but failed for short period in the Far East in the mid $4,000s.
Business in the US Gulf witnessed the best rates of the week. Trips to China paid in the mid $8,000s for Tess 52s and similar. Woodpellets into Continent was fixed on a Tess 58 at $7,250 daily. A 50,000 dwt secured $5,750 daily for trip from the US Gulf to east coast Mexico. Scrap from USEC to eastern Mediterranean this week paid $7,000 daily. It was slightly quieter this week from east coast South America but brokers reported a Tess 52 accepted delivery Santos trip Singapore-Japan at $6,500 daily plus a $65,000 ballast bonus. Another Tess 52 fixed Recalada to Gibraltar-Skaw in the region low $6,000s. The Black Sea market witnessed a few fixtures, one trip to Singapore-Japan at $6,000 daily with a 58,627 dwt 2012 built vessel. A 55,000 tonner had allegedly fixed delivery Iskenderun trip West Africa in the upper $3,000s. There were rumours that a supramax had accepted bunkers only for Black Sea/Mediterranean into US Gulf. Evidently scrap runs from Continent/Baltic have been going around the $5,000 level and a trip via Red Sea to Port Said paid $4,500 daily.
In the East it proved to be a busy week but rates still showed no sign of improvement. A Tess 58 fixed delivery Singapore trip via Australia to PG at $3,750 daily. It was also reported that a 57,000 dwt Dolphin type fixed north China to west coast India at $4,250 daily. A 56,000 tonner agreed $2,350 daily for delivery Singapore via Indonesia to Thailand. A similar size fixed back to the Continent from CJK at $2,300 daily for the first 70 days and $5,200 for balance. For a smaller sized 46,412 dwt a trip from South Korea to Red Sea went at $5,100 daily. An Ultra covered delivery Mina Saqr for trip east coast India with limestone at $3,500 daily. A PG internal aggregates trip was fixed at $3,750 per day with a 56,817 dwt supramax.
There were still a limited amount of actual fixtures being reported for what was a very busy market. The place to be remained the US Gulf. One report this week suggested a 32,922 dwt built 2012 concluded delivery Mississippi River to Buenaventura at $7,500 daily. A 32,328 dwt fixed Maceio prompt trip to Black Sea at $4,800 daily. Sources advised a 29,721 dwt covered delivery Rocky Point trip to Rotterdam with alumina at $3,750 daily.
A 36,000 dwt fixed delivery Singapore for an Australian round voyage at $3,750 daily while a 28,000 dwt covered delivery Brisbane trip back to Far East at $5,250 per day.
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