The past week marked one of the busier periods for Capesizes this year. With a subdued start due to a public holiday in Singapore on Monday, the market carried on to register solid activity through to Thursday across most major routes. Friday was a non-starter, as the market took a breather. With Vale still absent on Brazil to China C3, this route continued to take a minor role in the spot market. That said, several trades were still heard to be transacted by Brazilian charterers, usually to operators and owners. The West Australia to China route C5 started the week at $6.50 and was seen to strengthen throughout the week, closing at $7.036 on solid fixing. The Atlantic saw some activity on Colombia to Europe, but volumes were still thin. There is some disagreement amongst analysts as to the direction of this market, with a ceiling being proposed against rates that continue to gradually lift on reasonable volume. The Capesize 5TC closed on Friday at $12,243, a gain of $334 from the previous week.
Last week was a continuation of the previous week, with a slow but steady rise in index values. The North Atlantic again witnessed a tightening of tonnage supply, with fronthaul trades prevalent. Although transatlantic volume was thinner, the positive sentiment endured. South America remained the market’s driving force, with the 10-30 June window soaking up numerous vessels throughout the week. However, rates were generally unchanged, that said, the constant demand had a positive impact on the Pacific market. The week in Asia started slowly due to the holiday in Singapore. However, the optimism was eventually realised, with rates picking up towards the end of the week. Owner’s preference for trips out of the area, or longer South American rounds, meant charterers had to pay above last done for inter-Pacific trades. Despite constant period discussion and support from the FFA market, very few period trades were concluded last week.
Overall, it was a lacklustre week. Whilst there was still period activity, few details surfaced. The main area of activity was from East Coast South America, with fronthaul rates on the Ultramax size benefiting from the better activity feeding down from the Panamax/Kamsarmax sizes. A 61,000dwt ship was fixed from here to Singapore-Japan at $14,400 plus $440,000 ballast bonus. In contrast, levels for transatlantic business remained steady. A 63,000dwt vessel rumoured fixing around $13,000 for a trip from the Continent to India. From Asia, limited activity was reported, with the upcoming Indonesian holidays slowing coal movements. A 58,000-tonner, open Bahodopi, fixed a trip via Indonesia, redelivery China, at $10,900. Further north, a 61,000dwt vessel open Tianjin was reported fixed for two laden legs in the mid $10,000s. With widespread holidays coming up it will be interesting to see where the market goes.
Overall it was not one of the most active weeks, with people travelling to Copenhagen, but the Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI) managed minimal gains every day this week. On the period front, a 32,000dwt vessel open in the central Mediterranean was fixed for a short period at $7,250. Vessels open in East Coast South America and the US Gulf saw rays of hope of possible recovery in the Atlantic, but actual fixture information was sparse. A coastal trip paid in the mid $9,000s on a 28,000-tonner and a 30,000-tonner achieved $10,000 for two laden legs, with redelivery in the Atlantic. The Pacific had a slow start due to the public holiday in Singapore on Monday, with rates struggling for vessels open in the Far East, but remained relatively firm for South China and Southeast Asia delivery. A 35,000dwt vessel open Campha, fixed in the high $7,000s for a steel run to China. Another vessel open in Vietnam of a similar size was rumoured fixed on a round-voyage with coal at $7,350, but this might have failed.
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