A largely disappointing week for those still hoping for a firmer end to the year, but at least by the close of the week rates appeared to have steadied. The rate for West Australia/Qingdao dropped to the mid $8.00s fresh enquiry today checked the fall with rates around $8.60 for the miners and a touch more for operators. There was a rumour of $8.90 down for 25 November onwards from full West Australia load options to Qingdao. Timecharter rates closed out at reasonable numbers with a 2007 177,000 tonner fixed from Fancheng for a West Australian round at $22,500 daily. Heading towards the Atlantic, Saldanha/Qingdao was concluded at $17.00, but so far Brazil/China rates still stayed below $22.00. Further north, there was continued debate regarding where to put the transatlantic rate, but again, visibility was limited. Jera booked tonnage form Bolivar to Rotterdam with some suggesting the rate was in the low $10.00s, but there was talk of easier numbers on voyage, with some suggesting on this basis the transatlantic route was something in the $17,000s. Fronthaul rates slipped, but were still near the mid $30,000s. A well-described 179,000dwt 2015 built open Rotterdam fixed a trip via Port Cartier to Japan at $37,500 daily with MOL. Period fixing remained scarce, although a 181,000dwt 2009 built, prompt China, allegedly failed at $20,500 for about a year.
On the whole it was an active week with a good level of volume concluded in all areas, although it did slow towards the weekend. The Pacific started the week looking weak in the North/strong in the South, but finished with sentiment the opposite way round. More NoPac enquiry throughout the week culminated in a well-described Kamsarmax fixed basis delivery north China at $14,750, for a round, whilst a lack of Indonesian business for vessels in the South was off-set by increased South American enquiry. Despite a consistent amount of business in the Atlantic, the oversupply of tonnage in the North Atlantic put paid to any potential improvement, although some pointed to a tightening in the Mediterranean. The South was very active again, with early November ballasters still able to fix prompt stems, but it was the end November position that saw the most attention, with a slight improvement to around $16,500 plus $650,000 ballast bonus for Kamsarmaxes.
The BSI lost ground this week, with rates dropping in many areas, especially from the Asian basin. Limited activity was reported on the period front, but a 58,000dwt was rumoured fixed in the mid $11,000s for short period in the East. The Atlantic slowed, and from east coast South America an Ultramax was fixed at $15,000 plus $500,000 for a fronthaul. In the US Gulf Ultramaxes were being covered in the mid $20,000s for trips to the Far East brokers said. East Mediterranean reporting was slow, but a 61,000dwt was linked to a trip to Chittagong at around $24,000. Enquiry from South East Asia was limited, but a 55,000dwt fixed delivery Singapore, via Indonesia, redelivery Vietnam at $9,800. Further north, for NoPac rounds a 56,000dwt went in the mid $11,000s plus $300,000 ballast bonus delivery on the coast. There was still reasonable demand from the Indian Ocean and a 57,000dwt finalised basis Mumbai, with limestone to Bangladesh in the mid $15,000s.
A week of continuous falls in both the Atlantic and Asia markets, with a just small ray of hope visible in the major trading areas. Brokers noticed some off-market business was traded, but few details came to light. From east coast South America, a 34,000dwt was booked for a trip to the Baltic at $18,000 and another sugar cargo paid $18,150 on a 33,000 tonner to Casablanca.
A 39,000 vessel was fixed at $20,000 from the US Gulf to move petcoke to Ireland. In the period trade, earlier in the week in the East there was talk of a 46,000dwt fixing from CJK for four to six months at $10,750.
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