A positive end to last week after a shaky start, with a Coaltrans taking participants out of the market early on and with rates slipping. However, rising iron ore prices and renewed talk of Vale fixing ships from Brazil for early November, from Tubarao to Qingdao, in the low $20.00s, steadied nerves. Others fixed later November cargoes, allegedly at timecharter rates, equating to around $22.50. West Australia/China rates slipped to the low $8.00s but resistance was evident as the week closed, with rates nudging the mid-high $8.00s with reports of ships fixing on timecharter showing over $9.00. The North Atlantic was slow, although a 6-15 November, 160,000dwt, 10% cargo, fixed Puerto Bolivar/Rotterdam at just under $10.00. A well described 180,000dwt, with Gijon delivery secured $22,000 or $22,500 daily for a transatlantic round. NYK secured an NSSMC tender midweek to move a cargo from Port Cartier to Japan on voyage, but a timecharter equivalent in nearing $35,000.
Coaltrans, in Barcelona early last week, disrupted trading with many travelling. However, the second half of the week failed to show improvement. The North Atlantic was bereft of fresh enquiry for most of the week, although a well described Imabari 84,000dwt fixed a US Gulf round voyage at $19,500 from the Continent. However, this was a fleeting high point as only prompt ships seemed to cover, while the rest waited, hoping for new business. The South American market was unusually slow with early ships still able to fix at strong numbers, evidenced by an October Kamsarmax fixing, basis Cape of Good Hope, at $18,150 plus $425,000 ballast bonus. But again, this appeared to be an exception, as most charterers with November stems held off and bid below last done. The Pacific saw a large volume of fixing, with Indonesia again the driving force, and vessels in the South maintaining strong returns whilst vessels in the North were forced to lower their expectations.
A firm week in the Atlantic, especially in the South for vessels able to make October cancelling. An Ultramax was fixed for a trip from east coast South America, redelivery Chittagong, at $17,000 plus $700,000 ballast bonus. The US Gulf remained evenly balanced on both supply and demand, with a 56,000dwt fixed for a trip to west coast Central America at $24,500. Again, demand was seen from the Mediterranean, with a 63,000dwt fixed delivery Canakkale via the Black Sea, redelivery Continent at $19,000. Charterers in both basins remained in the market for period cover. A 63,800dwt was booked, delivery Magdalla, for five to seven months trading at $15,000. Rates remained firm during the week from the Indian Ocean. A 64,000dwt fixing, basis delivery South Africa, for a trip far east at $14,000 plus $400,000. A slow start further east but as the week closed, improved numbers were discussed.
Whilst rates largely traded sideways in the Asian market, areas in the Atlantic remained firm. Period activity came to light, with a 32,000dwt linked to a four to six months trading, redelivery Atlantic, in the mid $12,000s. And a 34,000dwt fixed to short period at a similar level basis, delivery Continent. Improved numbers were seen from the eastern Mediterranean and a 37,000dwt agreed, delivery Canakkale, for a trip via the Black Sea, redelivery Tunisia, at $18,500, option redelivery Black Sea at $17,500. Healthy numbers were discussed from east coast South America, with a 36,500dwt booked, delivery Rio Grande, for a trip, redelivery Algeria, in the mid $16,000s. In Asia, a lack of fresh business slowed the pace. A 37,000dwt was fixed, delivery China, for a trip with steels in the mid-high $10,000s, and a 30,000dwt fixed, delivery Singapore, via western Australia, redelivery Arabian Gulf, at $8,000.
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