In a generally dismal market the odd marginal improvement was evident, but the same problems besetting the market remained. A rise in bunker values was probably a factor on voyage rates. Added to this, was news that the berths at Tubarao, for both ore and grain, have been shut down over emission issues, but it was too early to say when the restrictions will be lifted. There remained a plentiful supply of tonnage heading to Brazil and rates remained weak hovering around the low-mid $5.00s. Transatlantic rates from Brazil remained low but this week saw TKS fixing a Newcastlemax for a Tubarao/Rotterdam cargo at $2.80. There was talk of some resistance in the Atlantic as the week closed out with owners upping their rate ideas, and talk of charterers willing to pay more than last done.
In the East, there was a touch more paid for cargoes from West Australia/China (though not yet by the mining companies) with Oldendorff fixing a 10 February onwards cargo at $3.00, EDF controlled Zosco vessel at $3.05 and Louis Dreyfus reportedly $3.10 for 7-11 February. There was some talk $3.20 has been agreed, but this has yet to be confirmed.
Timecharter rates struggled to hit $4,000 daily with rates still in the $3,000s for good 180,000 tonners for East Coast Australia rounds.
A Saldanha/Qingdao cargo fixed today for 26-30 Jan at $4.20.
Atlantic timecharter rates remained under further pressure with charterers able to pick and choose as cargoes are in very limited supply. A post panamax fixed this week from Portbury for a US Gulf round at just $1,500 daily, with the charterer then re-letting the ship for a coal cargo from Mobile to Hamburg at $6.50. A grain house reportedly paid $5,750 daily aps from the US Gulf to Gibraltar-Skaw at $5,750 daily possibly with a post panamax. Added to this, flooding along the Mississippi River has caused severe problems downstream including silting. Spot activity was limited while going forward, fronthaul rates ranged from $8,100 daily plus an $81,000 bonus for a good kamsarmax for 8 February onwards for the trip to the East via the Cape of Good Hope.
From South America ballasters from the East or Indian Ocean area were the many takers of cargo but rates slipped. Good eco-ships saw little more than $6,000 daily and $150,000 aps to the East and others considerably less.
From South America a modern 71,000 tonner agreed around $5,500 daily for a trip from the River Plate to the Continent.
In the East, rates aps NoPac/East dropped under $4,000 daily plus a $100,000 bonus, and this week a good kamsmarax allegedly agreed $3,700 daily and $70,000 bonus with the ship ballasting from Qingdao. Most of which has been done, this run barely equates to the mid $2,000s dop. Some owners with ships further south were either preferring to do quick rounds at rates or find business taking them nearer to the 2nd quarter.
It was a relatively busy week with plenty of market conversation but with the BDI dropping daily. Further layup discussions and some port delays did not seem as yet to have had any positive repercussions. There was minimal period enquiry this week with rumours that rates for short period on Tess 58s was moving below $4,000 daily. A Tess 52 had apparently fixed for an un-specified period at 90% of the timecharter average for the BSI 6TC, but further details were not disclosed. Nothing was reported for the handysizes.
The supramax market ticked along at a slow pace with owners really up against it facing competition from other tonnage, waiting time and ballasts.
A 64,000 dwt managed to secure $10,000 daily for trip delivery US Gulf to India while another 56,000 dwt fixed US Gulf with redelivery Aqaba at $9,500 daily. US Gulf to Japan and other Far Eastern ports paid anything between $6,700 daily and up to $8,000 per day, depending on the type of ship, while US Gulf to Continent witnessed a 62,145 dwt achieving $7,250 daily. Further south rates dropped again for east coast South America deliveries – a Tess 58 and a 56,000 dwt vessel picked up $5,500 daily for trips to the Mediterranean. Another Tess 58 fixed to the Persian Gulf at $7,250 per day plus a $70,000 ballast bonus, while a Tess 52 managed fix at $6,500 daily plus $65,000 ballast bonus for trip Singapore-Japan. Sources reported an ultramax concluding a trip to Spain from east coast South America at about $6,250 daily.
Far Eastern brokers reported a good amount of activity but levels remained static. There were also reports of a 56,679 dwt vessel fixing delivery Paradip for a trip to east coast India at $3,550 daily. A 56,936 dwt secured $3,000 daily for delivery east Kalimantan to China, while a 56,000 dwt was fixed with the same delivery for trip India at $3,375 daily. A Tess 52 fixed from Kaohsiung to South Africa at $2,150 for the first 65 days, with the balance at $4,800 daily. Another source advised China to east coast India-Bangladesh with fertilisers paid $4,000 daily. Although activity is ongoing, brokers were still not expecting much excitement especially with the Chinese holidays on the horizon.
The smaller handysize cousins did not reveal as much action but there were reports of a 28,000 dwt was covered delivery Kuala Tanjung for an Australian round voyage at $3,750 daily. Chile to the Far East paid $5,100 daily for a 32,500 dwt vessel. Within the Atlantic a 37,000 managed to obtain $4,500 daily for trip delivery east coast South America to the US Gulf. At the beginning of the week a 34,000 dwt fixed Bremen to Italy at $5,800 daily.
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