The worst market in more than 30 years and the prospects of any kind of recovery a very distant hope. West Australia/China rates had largely been holding around $3.00 but a 15-20 February cargo was rumoured at $3.15 for a Port Hedland/Qingdao cargo. Timecharter rates were barely at $3,000 daily for 180,000 dwt and a 2000 built 172,000 tonner agreed $1,500 daily for a South Korea to Dalrymple Bay round. On the key Brazil/China runs rates are now around $5.25 for 170,000 tonne 10% cargoes and cargoes from Brazil to Rotterdam down in the low $3.00s. In the coal trades further north the Puerto Bolivar/Rotterdam run was being fixed just over the mid $3,000 daily range. A 175,000 tonner open Gijon fixed on timecharter on this run earlier this week at $3,000 daily. Fronthaul activity was again negligible although a cargo fixed from Port Cartier to Kashima at just $8.50. Period rates remained very weak with a 170,000 tonner fixed for a year linked to the BCI four timecharter average at a floor of $2,500 daily and 50% of the average.
Owners here were largely at a loss for words to describe the struggle to fix ships. South America was still the most active area of the market and owners were trying to resist further drops in rates. A 78,000 tonner allegedly achieved $6,250 daily plus a $100,000 bonus for a run from east coast South America to the East. The north Atlantic and the US Gulf has been very slow with tonnage continuing to build. A 74,000 tonner 10 year old panamax allegedly agreed $1,000 daily for Tarragona delivery for a Norfolk/Rotterdam run. A grain house fixed a 79,000 tonner from the US Gulf to the East at $6,750 daily plus a $70,000 bonus.
In the East, rates for NoPac rounds were now equating to under $2,000 daily with a kamsarmax fixed from China earlier this week at $1,900 daily while latterly another kamsarmax agreed $3,000 daily plus a $60,000 bonus aps NoPac. Added to the woes here the pace also slowed this week for shorthaul cargoes from Indonesia although an 82,000 tonner fixed from Samarinda to Hong Kong at $3,000 daily with no bonus.
January draws to a close with rates on nearly all routes still dropping. The BDI stood at 325 on 28 January – a 148 point drop since the first day trading this year. This week has seen the lowest amount of fixtures reported for some time with only one handy being openly discussed with all others remaining private.
Period information and fixtures for both handysize and supramax was virtually non-existent with a lack of shared information.
Owners were still finding every market a struggle and the continuing question of layup on people’s lips whilst pondering the duration of this situation.
Rates from the US Gulf were still among the highest but still easing. Sources revealed a 56,025 dwt secured $8,200 daily for delivery US Gulf trip west coast central America. A similar sized vessel fixed US Gulf to Spain at $6,000 daily while a 56,700 dwt covered a trip to Far East at $7,000 per day.
From the Continent a 46,946 dwt was fixed delivery Gibraltar via Morocco to Singapore-Japan at $5,000 daily. Brokers advised the Warisa Naree 2010 built 53,840 dwt had concluded $5,900 delivery for a prompt delivery in Huelva for trip also to the Far East. A few fixtures from east coast South America, one a 61,000 dwt trip Skaw-Mediterranean at $6,000 daily and another smaller 56,836 dwt fixed redelivery south east Asia at $6,100 daily plus $65,000 ballast bonus. A trip to Pakistan paid $7,000 daily plus $60,000 ballast bonus while a trip to west coast India went at $7,250 daily plus $72,500 ballast bonus.
A Dolphin 57,000 dwt secured $1,900 daily for aggregates business delivery Zhangzhou trip Singapore while a coal cargo moved on a similar size delivery Taboneo trip China at $2,500 daily with an option for redelivery India at $3,000 daily. The Pacific Leader 56,453 dwt built 2012 concluded a trip delivery Kohsichang redelivery Philippines at $3,000 daily.
As mentioned earlier the handysize market seemed like a closed shop this week with business obviously going on but nearly all market sources not willing to share. One 38,800 dwt 2015 built vessel fixed delivery Murmansk trip redelivery Continent-West Mediterranean range at $4,500 daily. Other rumours involved a 35,000 dwt fixing delivery Continent trip USEC at region $2,000 daily.
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