The impact of the approaching Chinese New Year holidays remained the focus of the market this week, with some hoping for a further flurry of fixing, but knowing that it was most likely trading would slow.
Increased activity in the north Atlantic and from Brazil fuelled a rate rise this week while in the East rates flip flopped. In the north Atlantic the BCI C7 rate Puerto Bolivar/Rotterdam reached $8.50 but late Thursday it emerged an operator fixed at $8.00. There was talk of an eco 180,000-tonner open Money Point fixing for a Colombia round at $19,250 daily, but this was not confirmed.
From Brazil, Vale was active allegedly taking four ships this week based on the BCI C3 Tubarao/Qingdao rate while others were fixing around the mid to high $13.00s.
In the East, there has been action from the majors for West Australia/China with rates nudging $6.00 but slipping back towards the mid $5.00s as the week closed out. So far, timecharter rates held fairly steady with a 2006-built 173,000-tonner open Huanghua, north China reportedly fixing an Australian round voyage at $9,000 daily while a 2010-built 180,000-dwt vessel also open in north China fixed at $10,500 daily, but charterers were not disclosed.
A softer tone in the north Atlantic this week but essentially rates were still at reasonable levels although some of the premiums paid have been for ships breaching INL with a 77,000-tonner fixing and failing a Baltic/Mediterranean trip of over $11,500 daily. The US Gulf slowed, but rates for eco ships were still over $14,000 daily and over $400,000 bonus. There has been a steady pace of fixing from east coast South America to the East although rates hit a ceiling and slipped slightly in some cases. Again, eco vessels still managed $9,500 daily plus a $450,000 bonus or just below mid-week, but arenow facing lower numbers, however there was still a reasonable volume of transatlantic cargoes to move. On this run, eco Kamsarmaxes were achieving rates around $13,000 daily. Brokers talked of a long list of ships for 1-10 February eta on the east coast but it was also suggested charterers were keeping back cargoes.
In the East, a limited supply of NoPac cargoes kept rates at lower levels, but owners were trying to resist cuts and some decided to ballast ships to the US Gulf. Standard Kamsarmaxes were fixing NoPac rounds as the week closed out close to the mid $6,000s daily range with Japan or South Korea delivery.
Charterers were there to take period ships but generally the bid-offer spread was wide. A 73,800-dwt 2002-built ship fixed with Zhoushan delivery for about 12 months trading at $6,750 daily while a 2013-built Kamsarmax agreed a $1,000 daily more for five to eight months.
Rates for ships loading from the US Gulf climbed higher this week. However, in the East activity was insufficient to push the market up further before some of Asian countries begin celebrating the upcoming festival next week. It was reported that owners secured some premium from charterers over ships coming from the Persian Gulf area to the Far East. On the period front, a 61,000-dwt open in the Persian Gulf was booked for a four to seven month period at $8,500 daily. A 63,000-dwt delivery in Liverpool was taken for about five to seven months with Atlantic redelivery at $10,250 daily.
A 2014-built 57,000-dwt was fixed at $11,500 daily from east coast South America to Algeria at the beginning of the week. Later a 63,000-dwt 2015-built reached $20,000 daily for a trip via the US Gulf to Japan. A 61,000-dwt 2012-built was linked to a run from west Africa to southeast Asia at $12,000 daily and a 56,000-dwt 2012-built open South Africa was fixed to the Far East at $10,500 daily. Scrap trips from the Continent to Mediterranean were paying at $12,500 per day on a 55,000-dwt non-grabber. Fixtures were concluded at $8,000 daily for clinker moving from the Mediterranean to West Africa.
A 63,000-dwt 2015-built was reportedly paid at high $3,000 daily basis Tianjin for loading steel from north China to Southeast Asia. A Dolphin 57 type was paid aps CJK at mid-$1,000s per day for a trip to West Africa with $5,500 daily if the trip goes beyond 70 days. A newly built Ultramax open CJK was taken at $5,600 daily via south Australia to China with grain. A 58,000-dwt 2011-built open in south China was fixed for coal via Indonesia to China at $4,000 daily while another 58,000-dwt was fixed at $5,000 per day basis Indonesia for a trip to Thailand early of the week.
Overall a negative week for the Handysizes except from the US Gulf which has shown signs of improvement. Brokers advised spot ships in most areas still outnumbered requirement. On the period front, the Apogee Spirit 2011 built 29,380-dwt was fixed delivery Adriatic for four to six months redelivery Atlantic at $6,500.
Continent to West Africa trips were paying about $9,000 per day while a scrap cargo was concluded on a 28,000-tonner from the Continent to Turkey at $7,500. The Atlantic Laurel 2012 33,271-dwt covered a trip delivery Canakkale with coal to the eastern Mediterranean at $6,950 daily and similar inter Mediterranean trades also followed suit. Sources revealed the Four Emerald 2013 built 34,400-dwt went to Ultrabulk at $10,000 per day delivery north Brazil for a trip to the north Continent.
Other fixtures from the east coast South America to Skaw-Passero area were paying from $9,500 to $11,000 depending on the trade and size of vessel. A 2003 built 31,817-dwt fixed $7,500 aps Rio for trip to the US Gulf while trips to west coast South America paid in the region of $13,500 to $14,000 daily. A 35,000-tonner allegedly fixed from the US Gulf to Spain in the region $13,000 per day and Port Arthur to Western Mediterranean with soda ash was reported at $12,000 daily.
A 38,000-tonner was linked to a fixture delivery CJK prompt at $4,500 for a soda ash cargo ex NoPac to South Australia. The Fortune Hero 2012-built 34,800-dwt logger type which was open Taizhou 18 January had apparently fixed to west coast India at $4,500 per day. A 28,207-dwt was alleged fixed delivery CJK for trip to Indonesia at around $4,000 daily. Brokers reported the Crimson Majesty 2013 38,035-dwt was fixed delivery dop Vietnam prompt for a trip via Australia to North China with alumina at $5,500 per day.
For daily dry bulk assessments from the Baltic Exchange please visit www.balticexchange.com/market-information/