A tale of two halves this week as the market tide turned mid-week bringing a raft of higher fixtures to both basins. Pockets of pressure in the market released to the upside from Wednesday onwards. The Capesize 5TC routes opened the week at $29,624, dropped down to $28,431, before closing the week out at $30,437. The big play of the week came from Brazil, once again rising over $2 per metric tonne from Wednesday to Friday, to settle at $24.055. Several transatlantic trades were heard following the mid-week dip as trading activity was slow but steady. In the Pacific, the usual presence of Rio Tinto was the constant as they traded rates to the low and were again in at the high on Friday. Other miners were infrequent and generally quiet. C5 opened the week at $10.498, traded down quickly to $9.573, before closing out the week up at $10.577. Turbulent weather is once again heading towards South East China which should affect upcoming vessel schedules. Traders will also be casting a wary eye towards the global economies, for which the Capesize market has been seemingly ignoring of late as it gets on with its own business.
The South American grains drove the market this week, with numerous vessels open in Asia fixed for September loading. Rates varied from $16,000 to $19,000, depending on the delivery point. The Yasa Neslihan (82,849dwt, 2005 built) vessel, in ballast from India, was fixed on Arrival Pilot Station (APS) basis 15/20 September, at $19,000 plus $900,000. Rates for Pacific round voyages are hovering around the $16,000 level for the Tess 82 types. In the Atlantic, Jera fixed the ‘Spring Progress’ open Agadir 21/23 August for coal loading US East Coast to Jorf Lasfar at $21,500 and for fronthaul there was talk of Uniper taking the ‘Clia’ (92,968dwt 2012 built), passing Gibraltar, for US East Coast coal to India at around $30,000.
Similar to other sizes, it was one of the most exciting weeks for the Baltic Supramax Index (BSI), with a surge from all areas. The rates for the US Gulf increased rapidly, with pressure on August cancelling, before settling back down a shade. Brokers reported tight tonnage lists in both the Continent and East Coast South American markets. For East Coast South America loading, charterers started taking vessels from South China in addition to the Indian Ocean area. Meanwhile the vessels open in the Far East had strong support from the North Pacific runs, as well as stems from Australia. A 50,000-tonner, open Houston, was fixed for moving petcoke to Cristobal at $17,000. A 53,000dwt ship, open Rotterdam, was booked for fertiliser cargo, via the Baltic to South Brazil, at a rate in the high $12,000s. Midweek, an Ultramax was fixed from East Coast South America for a trip back to the Far East at close to $18,000, plus a ballast bonus in the high $700,000s. In the East, a 63,000dwt vessel, open CJK, was fixed to run via East Coast South America for a trip back to Singapore-Japan at $13,500. North Pacific and Australia round trips paid between $11,000 and $12,000 for North China delivery. From South Africa, a 63,000dwt ship was fixed to China at $14,500, plus a ballast bonus of $450,000.
With small steps, the Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI) climbed from 439 in early June to 609 as of Thursday without any decline. The level of 600 point was last seen back in December 2018. Rates from East Coast South America remained steady and were reasonably well supported from the US Gulf area, with limited fresh orders. An Imabari 28 type was fixed from South Brazil to the Continent with grains at $13,750. Similar to the bigger-sizes, brokers saw less tonnage open on the Continent leading to stronger rates fixed with some on voyage basis. Since midweek, the Pacific market started to see a massive improvement, especially for vessels open in Southeast Asia. A 38,000dwt ship was fixed for moving coal within the region in the high $12,000s, basis Indonesia delivery.
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