The market saw an uplift as the week drew to a close, largely focused on increased activity from Brazil. The cargo flow increased towards the end of the week with mid-end June cargoes fixed from Brazil options including Tubarao to Qingdao around $9.00 with some suggesting further gains were likely. A 1999 built 171,000 tonner achieved $7,000 daily for prompt delivery Zhoushan for a Brazil round with the cargo for 10-20 July loading – this rate was allegedly equated to a tick under $9.00. The north Atlantic was less active with the tonnage list still fairly lengthy. A 180,000 tonner fixed from Rotterdam 6 June for a trip via various options including the US to the East at $12,600 daily. K-Line and Rio Tinto reportedly booked tonnage for a cargo from Seven Islands to China at $10.25. Transatlantic business was very slow with coal shipments limited from Colombia and just a few cargoes from Brazil. Vale booked CCL tonnage for a 170,000 tonne 10% cargo from Tubarao to Dunkirk west and Gdansk at $6.00.
In the East, the majors remained active from West Australia to China with the rate improving mid-week then taking a wobble late Thursday and recovering again today with talk that BHP Billiton booked two 170,000 tonne 10% cargo from Port Hedland to Qingdao at $4.35. Timecharter rates varied considerably although there was talk that a 172,000 tonner 2002-built open Taichung achieving $7,000 daily from Taichung for a West Australian round.
Rates generally here came under downward pressure. There remained interest for Argentina-Brazil loaders to go east but the pace was steady rather than frenetic with rates for average ships now hovering in the very low $7,000 daily range and $200,000 bonus or so. This has impacted on an already slow Asia market with owners facing fewer alternatives to current low rates on offer. One charterer, active from Newcastle/Malaysia fixed a couple of LMEs with the last done in the low $3,000s and now looking to fix at under $3,000 daily. Rates for NoPac rounds too dropped to the low $4,000s for standard tonnage with delivery Japan-South Korea.
The US Gulf was one of the few areas where a tight supply of committed tonnage has seen rates improve. A 76,000 tonner agreed $9,600 daily for retroactive delivery Gibraltar 25 May for a trip via the US Gulf to the East.
The market started very slowly due to another holiday pause for the UK and the US on Monday. Most index routes came in lower this week. Brokers suggested the US Gulf still had some legs with ships ballasting to take advantage of the strong rates. Ships were achieving in the region of $14,000 for a trip to China with a 63,000 tonner, while another ultra agreed in excess $15,000 for a trip to India. Rumours circulated a supramax was on subjects from the US Gulf to the Mediterranean at around $13,500. East coast America has remained fairly static this week with one Ultramax fixing at $7,000 daily plus $45,000 ballast bonus. A 53,0000 dwt vessel secured $8,000 daily delivery West Africa for a trip to China.
Two 45,000s both fixed scrap from the Continent to the east Mediterranean at $8,500 daily.
The Eastern market showed a fair amount of activity and some rates were up on last done. A Dolphin 57 took $5,000 for delivery China via Japan to PG and a similar size managed $6,000 with redelivery Red Sea. An ultra fixed delivery Singapore for a trip via Australia to Vietnam at $6,000 with yet another 57,000 dwt taking $5,250 daily delivery South China via the Philippines to Thailand. Rates in general from this area have the potential to improve but only slightly.
A few period fixtures came to light. A Dolphin 57,000 secured $7,000 daily for three to five months delivery Rotterdam with an Atlantic redelivery. A 56,000 dwt fixed delivery South Africa for three to six months at $5,800 daily plus a $120,000 ballast bonus. The Marylisa V 2003 built 52,428 dwt managed to conclude delivery Dakar for three to five months at $8,500 daily with redelivery being Atlantic or Indian Ocean. Little information emerged of any longer periods being negotiated.
The handysizes showed a daily fall for Continent, Mediterranean and east coast South America routes. The US Gulf index had an increase for route HS4 and the Asian routes also witnessed a daily improvement. There was little talk of period business in this sector and only a few confirmed fixtures were reported. A 37,000 tonner secured $7,250 daily for delivery Fazendinha for a trip to Norway while a 34,000-dwt fixed Recalada to Bejaia at $6,250 daily. Brokers reported a 2002-built 31,842-dwt concluded a trip delivery Black Sea to Egypt at $5,000 daily. A 33,000-dwt was covered for a fertiliser cargo from Continent via Baltic to Vietnam in the region $7,500 and another Vietnam destination was fixed with a 28,000-dwt from the Philippines trip via Australia at something over $4,500 daily. A 28,000-dwt fixed delivery PG trip to Chittagong at $5,000 daily with a South Korean charterer. Brokers expected a similar pattern going into next week.
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