Throughout the week, the capesize market experienced a mix of subdued and positive conditions across different regions. The Pacific started with a marginal decline in rates on C5 due to a lack of coal enquiry and port closures in North China causing uncertainty. As the week progressed there was an increase in volumes including coal enquiry from East Coast Australia to China but rates on C5 continued to decline. By mid-week there was a positive turn in the Pacific and South Atlantic, with the BCI 5TC experiencing a notable increase, attributed to a longer cargo list in the Pacific and the resurgence of coal in the market, while further port closures in North China added complexity. In the Atlantic, a shift towards positional conditions was noticeable, especially from South Brazil and West Africa. Premiums were being paid for tonnage capable of arriving within February. Towards the end of the week the Pacific remained relatively active, there were signs of resistance from owners, leading to a slight uptick in C5 rates. Whilst in the Atlantic conditions varied, with South Brazil and West Africa to the Far East remaining relatively quiet, with a widening bid / offer spread and the north Atlantic facing tight conditions with limited enquiry. The week concluded on a subdued note, with the BCI 5TC seeing an uptick of $884 reaching a closing value of $16,837.
It proved to be another week of steady declines for the Panamax market. With a heavy ballaster list and increased tonnage count, resistance from owners was mostly scarce. This resulted in charterers driving down bids, especially in the Atlantic region with Asia also witnessing a similar trend. In the Atlantic, aside from mid-February arrival EC South America grain demand in the early part, it has been lacklustre with both P1A and P2A routes lacking mostly. From South America $18,250 + $825,000 bb reported fixed several times delivery Aps load port Mid-February but the focus now was for end February where less pressure with Charterers adopting a more relaxed approach. In Asia, the market saw similar declines with tonnage severely outweighing demand. With a weak and pessimistic EC South America market Southeast Asia positions saw little joy. Rates for the limited coal to India trades were discounted by most with many looking to reposition.
A rather mixed affair this week, which was generally seen as positional. The Atlantic saw a bit of increased demand from the US Gulf for fronthaul business and with tonnage remaining relatively tight, rates increased. From the South Atlantic a rather lacklustre week ensued although rates generally remained around last done. From Asia, very little fresh enquiry was seen from Indonesia adding to owners’ woes with limited fresh activity further north. The only bright areas seemed to be the Indian Ocean where rates remained healthy. Period interest remained, a 55,000-dwt open Campha fixing three to five months trading redelivery worldwide at $13,200. In the Atlantic a 61,000-dwt open US Gulf was heard fixed for a trip to South Korea at $26,500. Elsewhere, a 56,000-dwt open United Kingdom fixed a scrap run to the East Mediterranean at $15,500. From Asia, came the news a 57,000-dwt fixed delivery Koh Sichang for a trip China at $7,000. However, from the Indian Ocean a 63,000-dwt fixed delivery East London for a trip to the Far East at $22,000 plus $220,000 ballast bonus.
A rather subdued week across the handy sector which saw limited visible activity across both basins. The US Gulf continued to experience a lack of cargo enquiry, with a 38,000-dwt fixing from SW Pass to EC Mexico with an intended cargo of grains at $12,500 whilst a 36,000-dwt was fixed from SW Pass to Ireland with also with grains at a rate close to $12,000. The South Atlantic saw the recent upward trend stall, with limited enquiry remaining for the first half of February. In the Mediterranean a 30,000-dwt fixed basis passing Canakkale via the Black Sea to Algeria with grains at $11,000 whilst a 38,000-dwt was rumored to have fixed from Damietta to the US Gulf NC South America at $10,900. In Asia, with the impending Chinese New Year holidays, fresh enquiry was said to be scarce, and opportunities limited for Owners. A 38,000-dwt was rumored to have been fixed from Singapore via Australia to China with Alumina at $8,500.