A dead cat bounce in paper mid-week helped support a minor rally for the big ships but essentially rates remained weak and as paper values drifted lower rate gains were curtailed. There was some activity from Brazil to China and rates here touched $12.00 for August 170,000-tonne 10% cargoes but stopped there. Mixed views in the in the north Atlantic with some positive sentiment but little evidence of firmer rates paid and brokers said there were still very few cargoes quoting. There was talk mid-week of a well described 2017-built 180,000-tonner fixing from the Mediterranean via the US east coast to the east at something over $19,500 daily. In the east, rates on the C5 West Australia/China route managed to climb above $5.00 by the week’s close with Rio Tinto fixing at $5.10 and Oldendorff fixing in the low $5.00s. Timecharter trading was slow but there were vague reports of a 171,000-tonner fixing an east coast Australia/China run a reasonable rate allegedly a few hundred dollars less that BCI C8 rate for a 180,000-tonner of $7,885 daily.
South America was once again the driving force in the market helping to sustain a firmer market. The grain houses and operators came in force into the market with 82,000-tonners commanding the mid-$11,000s daily basis Singapore for an east coast South America round. Owners were increasing able to secure retroactive rates, dop or passing Singapore while aps rates hovered close to the mid $11,000s daily and $650,000 bonus for good Kamsarmaxes. The north Atlantic began uncertainly but increased business here particularly on the short rounds prompt fresh activity. A 2011-built 75,000 tonner due Gibraltar 20-25 July achieved $10,500 daily for options to load grain or minerals from north coast South America or the US Gulf to Skaw-Gibraltar. South American business continued to attract owners in the east and those willing to stay behind had the upper hand although the pace slowed as the week closed out. A 2010-built 80,500-tonner fixed from Chiwan via east coast Australia to China at $10,000 daily with shorter runs for average ships paying more. Period demand remained and with short periods in the east ranging from the low to the high $10,000s daily. Earlier this week a grain house booked a 2010-built Kamsarmax for 11 to 13 months trading with Beihai delivery at $10,000 daily.
Both basins showed positive movement particularly towards the end of the week. Cargoes from the Black Sea lent support to the Atlantic market whilst tonnage remained tight in south-east Asia throughout the week with the coal trading active. On the period front, a 57,000-dwt 2011-built was fixed for about three to five months delivery Hong Kong at $8,500 daily with worldwide redelivery. A 64,000-dwt open Chennai was booked for about five to seven months redelivery worldwide at $9,500 daily. A 55,000-dwt was reportedly fixed for about two to four months basis Gibraltar delivery at $9,250 daily to redeliver in the Atlantic.
From east coast South America, two Ultramax vessels were fixed at $13,000 daily plus a ballast bonus of $300,000 to the Far East, and a 66,000-dwt was covered for grains at tick over $15,000 daily redelivery Egypt. A 55,000-dwt delivery Varna was paid $16,000 daily for a trip to Singapore/Japan, and rates at a similar level were reported on routes from Canakkale via the Black Sea to the Far East on smaller-sized ships. Vessels from the US Gulf were fixed at $12,000 daily on a 58,000-dwt to the Mediterranean and over $20,000 daily on Ultramax type for trips to the Middle East Gulf-Japan range.
In the Pacific, two overaged vessels both of 44,000-dwt were reportedly fixed for a trip via Indonesia to China at a rate in the $8,000s basis Singapore delivery, which supported talk of a short tonnage list in southeast Asia. A 55,000-dwt 2013-built and a 56,000-dwt 2010-built were fixed for a similar run at $8,250 and $8,650 daily respectively both delivery Thailand. Nickel ore continued to be fixed and a 63,000-dwt open north China went at $9,000 daily and a 57,000-dwt open Vietnam at $10,000 daily via the Philippines to China. From the Indian Ocean, a 63,000-dwt delivery Karachi was paid $12,500 daily for a trip via the Persian Gulf to east coast India.
Overall, a positive week again for the indices and brokers were increasingly positive for most areas. Sources noticed charterers slowly improving their rate ideas in the Pacific and the market expected to strengthen. The Black Sea market has started to show some improvement. However, sources also suggested the handy vessels from the US Gulf were struggling to get fixed while east coast South America was having again the best time with levels creeping higher. On the period front, there was a report the Viyada Naree 38,716-dwt 2016-built open CJK was taken at $8,000 daily for about three to five months trading redelivery worldwide.
The UBC Stavanger 2004 31,751-dwt was linked to a Clipper stem from the Continent to the US Gulf at $6,500. The Cielo di Angra 2015 built 39,202-dwt was fully fixed basis delivery dop Paranagua 19-20 July for a trip to Algeria at $12,500 per day.
In the east, a 33,000-dwt delivery west Australia was failed on subjects for a trip to China with alumina at $6,000 daily while a 32,000-dwt covered delivery South East Asia for a trip via Indonesia to the Philippines at $6,500 daily.
A 33,000-dwt which was open Persian Gulf concluded a fixture to China at $8,250 per day.
On the back haul, it was understood a 32,000-dwt accepted low $4,000s for a trip to Continent/Mediterranean.
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