A week of two halves with the market slipping at the start of the week and then regaining some ground as the week drew to a close. The focus of activity remained in Asia as the West Australia/China route remained a market barometer with rates climbing above $8.00 as the week closed out but with some rumours circulating that a tick below perhaps had been fixed but maybe on a Newcastlemax. One of the majors was today reported as fixing at $8.15 for an end September cargo from West Australia to China. Owners have been putting up some resistance here on timecharter rates as a 181,000-tonner built 2013 (slightly more eco than the BCI type) fixed at $21,500 daily for Nagoya delivery for a West Australian round. A 180,000-tonner open Hong Kong prompt was said to have agreed aps delivery West Australia at $22,000 daily plus a bonus. Brazil/China activity was largely slow this week but rates appeared to have found a flow with $16.90 and then $17.10 paid for early October cargoes. One charterer took a 179,000-tonner from Singapore at $20,500 daily plus a $260,000 bonus for a Brazil round that some sources suggested equated to the upper $17.00s basis Tubarao/Qingdao. The north Atlantic was slower this week with fresh business in short supply. Cargill allegedly covered a 20-29 September 160,000-tonne 10% cargo from Narvik to Ijmuiden and Port Talbot at $5.65 which some sources said equated to $18,000 daily for a transatlantic round when levels at the end of last week were nearer $20,000 daily.
Another busy week with a large volume of fixing throughout the week. Rates generally consolidated with gains seen more in the east than the Atlantic and the outlook remains optimistic. Grain demand so far remained robust from the US Gulf and east coast South America for October dates.
On the period front, an 82,214-dwt 2006-built ship did five to seven months at $13,000 daily an increase of about $500 over last week for similar business.
Towards the end of the week a good 81,247-dwt 2017-built open Hong Kong fixed a trip via east coast Australia to India at $16,000 daily whereas Kamsarmaxes were fixing around $13,000 daily last week reflecting that spot rates were no longer at a discount to the longer trips via US Gulf or east coast South America.
Several grain cargoes have been fixed on voyage basis from the US Gulf/China at $41.50 for first half October which was only 50 cents up on last week, and whilst better described ships obtained higher rates from east coast South America, there were still fixtures close to last week’s levels being concluded. Elsewhere, the Atlantic seemed more positional – vessels open Baltic/north Continent obtained solid rates for shorter rounds, especially into the Mediterranean with Kamsarmaxes fixing around $15,000 daily but early tonnage/ballasters had to discount to get fixed.
A better week generally although the eastern Mediterranean saw a buildup of prompt tonnage and putting pressure on rates. Period trading was active this week with a 58,000-dwt taken for 11 to 14 months worldwide trading basis delivery China end October in the mid $10,000s. In the Atlantic, the east coast south American market remained active even though information remained sparse with rates for front haul around $13,500 daily plus $350,000 ballast bonus for Supramax sizes, brokers said. For transatlantic business, a 56,600-dwt open north Brazil was covered in the upper $13,000s for a trip to the Mediterranean. Despite the very bad weather in the US Gulf area, the market remained solid and a 63,000-dwt open Houston mid-September fixed for a trip to India at $23,500 daily. Rates from the eastern Mediterranean late week eased and an ultramax was rumored fixed for a front haul at $17,000 daily. From the Continent, a 52,000-dwt agreed a rate in the mid-$11,000s for a trip east Mediterranean but it was not clear if the business was clean fixed.
The Asian market remained active with a 50,200-dwt fixing basis delivery Surabaya for a trip to China at $14,000 daily and a 48,800-dwt 2017-built was fixed delivery CJK trip via Indonesia redelivery China at $11,000 daily. A 55,000-dwt was booked delivery Navlakhi for a trip to the Maldives at $11,000 daily. Further north, a 52,000-dwt was fixed delivery Aqaba for a trip via the Red Sea redelivery east coast India at $16,000 daily with petcoke. Brokers hoped that the momentum would be carried forward next week.
Handy vessels had a very positive week on almost all routes especially from east coast South America and the Pacific. In the east, a 28,000-dwt both open China was fixed at $7,750 daily for two to three laden legs redelivery worldwide and another similar-sized open north China was fixed $8,950 daily for two laden legs redelivery in Singapore-Japan rage. A 38,000-dwt 2016-built delivery Mombasa was booked for two laden legs with worldwide redelivery at $9,500 daily for the first laden leg and $10,500 daily for the second.
A 33,000-dwt 2012-built delivery east coast South America was booked at $16,000 per day for a trip to west coast South America. A 43,000-dwt 2015-built delivery Mombasa was paid $10,500 daily to run via south Africa redelivery in the range of Persian Gulf to Japan plus a ballast bonus of $270,000. A 25,000-dwt 1997-built was fixed to move harmless bulk and generals at $8,000 daily delivery Kandla via southeast Africa to redelivery in the Middle East Gulf/ west coast India range. A 24,000-dwt was fixed from north China at a rate in the mid $7,000s redelivery Southeast Asia.
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