A dismal week for the big ships with rates falling in all areas as the week closed out and the Chinese New Year celebrations began. In the Atlantic, there was very little activity and some brief resistance from owners was short lived. An eco 180,000-tonner fixed a Colombian round giving Port Talbot delivery at $15,500 daily and a cargo fixed from Puerto Bolivar to Sines mid-week at $6.45. Front haul trading was also very slow although a similar eco vessel allegedly fixed from the UK via Trinidad to the East at possibly $19,000 daily, but this was not confirmed. Brazil activity has been thin with rates from Tubarao to Qingdao now quoted around $12.00.
In the East, the West Australia/China run teetered on the brink of slipping below $5.00 with BHP Billiton already booking tonnage for a 12-14 February cargo from Port Hedland to Qingdao. Timecharter activity was negligible with rates for standard 180,000-tonners unlikely to be more than $7,000 daily. However, there remained period interest and a 2009-built 177,000-tonner open north China prompt fixed for 12 to 16 months trading at a still good $12,000 daily.
An active close to the week with a long list of ships fixed for east coast South America loading to the East and the Atlantic destinations. Rates for aps delivery peaked around $9,750 daily plus a $475,000 bonus for well-described Kamsarmax and a 2016-built vessel achieved $9,250 daily 6-10 February Kosichang. Rates for ships open east coast South America to the Continent ranged from $12,000 to the high $12,000s. There was short term pressure for early ships open northwest Europe and an 82,000-tonner open El Ferrol fixed for an Ust Luga round at $12,000 daily. There was limited trading from the US Gulf but brokers suggested this could become active with a few charterers needing to fix first half February cargoes.
The East was mixed with some short term pressure as ships in south east Asia either ballasted or fixed there for east coast South American rounds. Spot rates in the area remained uninspiring with rates for quality tonnage open Japan ranging from the high $6,000s to low $7,000s daily. An active South American market prompted charterers to take period tonnage which lifted optimism but trading has already slowed as the Chinese New Year celebrations took hold. An eco newbuilding Tsuneishi Kamsarmax went for a year at a strong $9,500 daily with a grain house.
One of the quietest weeks with very few fixtures reported in the market. In the Atlantic, rates for loading from the US Gulf rose until the middle of the week but then began to fall. It was more of holiday mood in the East throughout the whole week with minimal fixing
A 63,000-dwt 2016-built was fixed for a trip via the US gulf to the Far East at $22,000 daily with delivery in Brownsville in early February. Cargill took a 57,000-dwt for performing a quick coal run from north coast South America to west coast South America at $26,500 daily. An Ultramax of 63,000-dwt was reported paid close to $12,000 per day from Ghent to east Mediterranean at the end of the week.
A 56,000-dwt 2012-built ballasted to Indonesia and fixed for coal to Thailand at $3,000 daily basis CJK. Another 52,000-dwt was fixed for the same at $3,250 daily also with vessel delivery in CJK. A 55,000-dwt 2003-built was booked to India from Indonesia at $5,250 daily basis loading south Kalimantan island. In the India Ocean, a 61,000-dwt 2012-built open west coast India was reportedly paid $11,000 daily for a trip to China and a similar-sized Ultramax was covered from Mina Saqr to India at mid $9,000 per day.
A very slow week with all BHSI routes down and very little being reported worldwide. Brokers said the continued build-up of tonnage and a lack of new requirements forced rates even lower. With the Chinese New Year Holidays next week trading was likely to be virtually non-existent within the Asian sector. There was a suggestion a three to five month period was being negotiated delivery Spain at around the $7,000 per day level.
A few fixtures surfaced including the Transfriendship II 2010-built 31,775-dwt delivery Canakkale for a trip via the Black Sea to Egypt at $5,250 and similar deals were being covered at around the same levels. MUR fixed the Kambos 2008-built 33,225-dwt delivery Brindisi for two to three laden legs with redelivery Atlantic at $6,500 per day. Brokers reported the Clipper Target 2006-built 30,587-dwt was taken delivery Safi for a trip to the US Gulf at $4,400 daily and apparently there was a second requirement which was close to being fixed. Cargill booked the Royal Harmony 2011-built 37,238-dwt at $9,750 delivery Recalada for a trip with redelivery Skaw-Brest range. At the start to the week a 34,000 tonner was taken from the US Gulf to Morocco at $12,500 daily but this rate is likely to be a lot less for the next fixture.
There was little of note being reporting from Asia.
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