The Chinese return to work failed to produce any fireworks but a flurry of fixing from the Australian miners, together with slightly firmer bunker prices and some recent weather delays, prompted a further rise in rates in the more active west Australia/China market. The week closed out with talk of BHP Billiton fixing a 29 February 170,000 tonne 10% cargo from Port Hedland to Qingdao at $3.15. Timecharter rates remained in the doldrums hovering around mid-high $2,000 daily, depending on the ship’s specifications. Rates from Saldanha to Qingdao were around $4.35.
Brazil activity was limited with rates from Tubarao to Qingdao hovering around $5.75-$5.85. North Atlantic activity was again very limited with brokers suggesting near 40 ships chasing a handful of transatlantic cargoes.
Period trading was a touch more active this week with a well described 180,000 tonner fixed for 11 to 13 months trading something over the mid $5,000 daily range.
South American grain shipments continued to underpin the market with rates here firmer over the week. However, going forward views varied and changed frequently. As rates briefly hit $7,050 and $150,000 bonus aps east coast South America to the East, charterers then stepped back from the market talking rates lower but were still holding around the mid $6,000s and mid $100,000 bonus for kamsarmaxes basis early positions. The next batch of ballasters from the East and Indian Ocean were a lot closer to second half March loading. Ships heading off in ballast left a gap in the market and at least for those staying in the East rates were done on a dop basis, but the market needs more cargo especially for NoPac to at least sustain current levels. A 74,700 tonner 2001 built fixed basis Taiwan via West Australia to China at $3,850 daily.
The BDI goes back over ‘300’ this week, with rates in general all trying to improve over last done and brokers having a busy time with more cargoes in the market.
The supramax index nudged up every day this week. Period, if being concluded is still not leaking information for both sizes, sources suggesting unlikely owners willing take the low levels.
On the supramax, with the return after the holidays of the Far Eastern players, the rates have improved. A 55,340 dwt 2012 built fixed delivery Surabaya via south Kalimantan to India at $5,000 daily. Lanshan to south east Asia paid $3,700 daily for a steels run with a 53,500 dwt vessel. Talks on NoPac business being fixed at higher levels are still to be confirmed.
In the Atlantic there were two reports of supramax ships fixing West Africa to China in the region mid $4,000s. A 56,000 dwt has accepted $6,000 plus $60,000 ballast bonus for Recalada to south east Asia, while an ultramax secured $7,700 plus $70,000 for Singapore-Japan range, it is likely these rates will be improved on next week. East coast South America to Mediterranean is paying around $4-5,000 daily. A Tess 58 fixed Jorf Lasfar to Djibouti at $7,750 daily.
From the Continent early week reports a 55,649 dwt fixed trip West Africa at $3,600 daily.
For the handysizes various reports came to light. A 34,283 dwt was fixed delivery Continent trip Far East $5,000 daily. Brokers suggesting a handy is on subjects for Baltic to east coast South America in the region low $2,000s, whilst another rumour was suggesting Baltic to Spain was paying in the low/mid $3.000s. Baltic to east Mediterranean this week was concluded at $5,000 daily with a 2002 built 28,168 dwt vessel, an improvement over a 37,000 dwt vessel having fixed at $4,500 daily earlier in the week. An Imabari 28 concluded Black Sea to Far East at $5,250 daily. From Recalada a 28,000 dwt was linked to trip Fortaleza at something in the high $4,000s, while a 31,639 dwt 2012 built fixed Santos to Mediterranean at region $5,500 daily.
From the East a 32,751 dwt secured $3,000 for delivery China trip Indonesia and another Imabari 28 covered Rizhao to Vietnam with metcoke at $3,750 daily.
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