Coaltrans this week impacted on trading with limited activity, unsettling owners/operators with the seeming quiet and highlighting the fundamental fragility of the market. Brazil trading slowed but there remained a flotilla of ships heading that way and rates dropped, with talk today of rates under $11.00 but possibly for forward dates. Further north voyage rates dropped, with Puerto Bolivar/Rotterdam under $7.00 and front haul rates for ships from northwest Europe slipping to the mid-teens.
Trading slowed significantly today on the West Australia/China run with rates now nudging $5.00, a drop of almost 70 cents in a week.
Timecharter rates dropped below $10,000 daily in the Pacific and Atlantic for round voyages with little fresh reported.
Rates here improved yet again this week with increased US Gulf demand boosting the Atlantic market plus increased mineral cargoes for both transatlantic and trips to the East. Tonnage remained tight from northwest Europe and sentiment was positive going into next week. Most owners preferred the longer duration trips via the Cape of Good Hope underpinning the Atlantic market. Rates for kamsarmaxes from the US Gulf were comfortably around $11,500 daily plus a $350,000 bonus and for ships open on the Continent at least low $12,000s daily. Post panamaxes were making gains fixing around $13,000 daily for trips via the Orinoco to the east. A 74,000 tonner 2000 built agreed $8,000 daily for Gibraltar delivery for a US east coast round voyage with redelivery Gibraltar.
The East remained steady at firmer levels. Early in the week the charterers faced stronger rates for Indonesia and Australia cargoes and paid up and although there were fewer cargoes from the NoPac most owners resisted attempts to drive rates lower. There was talk of a 2010 built kamsarmax open Kwangyang for a NoPac round at $8,300 daily, but it was not clear if the business was done. A 2012 built Kamsarmax open Tianjin agreed $7,000 daily for a NoPac round. A 2016 built kamsarmax reportedly fixed at $8,500 daily from Yatshushiro via east coast Australia to India at $8,500 daily. A 2012 built 81,000 tonner open Surabaya achieved $10,250 daily for a trip via Indonesia to India.
Period trading was significantly more active. A 2015 built 81,000 tonner fixed at $8,000 daily for 5 to 9 months trading with delivery south east Asia.
Overall an active week for both the Atlantic and the Pacific. There were also period fixtures taking place on both sides. A 63,000 dwt delivery north China was booked for a five to eight month trading at mid $7,000s. A similar sized vessel was fixed for four to six months at $10,000 daily with US Gulf delivery earlier of the week.
Rates on vessels opening US Gulf climbed noticeably and at week’s end remain firm. With US Gulf delivery, a 57,000 dwt 2010 built was fixed $12,250 daily to India with petcoke, an ultramax was covered to the Far East direction close to $15,000 daily. The same rising trend applied to vessels delivery or ballasting from West Africa. A 53,000 dwt open Santos was reportedly booked to the Persian Gulf at $9,500 daily plus a ballast bonus of $85,000. A 63,000 dwt was linked to a trip to Singapore-Japan range with delivery in east coast South America.
In the Pacific, a 55,000 dwt was fixed at $6,000 daily basis Singapore delivery for Indonesia loading to China. A 58,000 dwt 2011 built was fixed at $7,000 daily for the same route basis Surabaya delivery and a 57,000 dwt at $6,750 daily with delivery in Cebu. Steel stems maintained a level in the $6,000s for vessels open north China basis quick trip to south east Asia. A 56,000 dwt open up north reported paid $5,800 daily for such route, and a 61,000 dwt 2011 built did again at $6,500 daily with Qingdao opening. For longer duration trips, a 57,000 tonner open South Korea was fixed to west coast India at $7,000 daily and a 60,000 ultramax open Rizhao was fixed to Pakistan-Persian Gulf at $7,300 daily.
A better week for the Handy sector from certain areas. The east Mediterranean fared well for owners with prompt tonnage, where 37,000 dwt could achieve in excess of $9,000 daily for trips to the west Mediterranean and between $7,000 and $8,000 daily for trips up to the Continent. Rates remained static from the north Continent, where a 38,000 dwt logger was fixed for a trip via Baltic with sawn timber to Egypt in the mid $7,000s. The strength continued from the east coast South American market, with rates improving this week. A 37,000 dwt was fixed delivery Recalada trip to the Continent in the low-mid $8,000s. For trips to the East 32,000 dwt was fixed in the mid $9,000s from Plate to Japan. From the US Gulf a 32,000 dwt was fixed in the mid $7,000s for a trip to north Continent.
The Asian market remained flat with not much movement across the routes. A 38,000 dwt was fixed in the high $6,000s for a NoPac round basis delivery South Korea, however it remains to be seen how long these improved rates will last.
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