The Capes started the week off slowly but gradually gained momentum. Despite decent cargo volumes, particularly in the Pacific, the C5 index experienced a 50-cent drop, settling at $9.640 as the week got under way. There was pressure in the South Atlantic due to a substantial amount of April ballasters, which led to weaker fixtures from South Brazil and West Africa contributing to a significant drop of $1.685 on the C3 index early in the week. Overall, there were signs of optimism mid-week with increased fixing volumes and positive sentiment, echoed by the positive turn in the FFA market, the C5 index saw a modest increase to $9.905, while the C3 index reached $23.90. However, any potential upside was tempered by a quieter end to the week, particularly in the Pacific due to holidays in Hong Kong and China. All in all, it has been a negative end to the week with the BCI 5TC dropping by $655 to conclude the week at $18,855.
A rather staggered week for the sector with both holidays at the beginning and the end of the week. The North Atlantic failed to materialize with very limited fresh enquiry being seen and a plentiful supply of tonnage. A bit more interest was shown from the South Atlantic where demand remained fairly steady, an 82,000-dwt fixing delivery Padang via EC South America redelivery Singapore-Japan at $21,000. Whilst an 81,000-dwt fixed delivery EC South America redelivery Skaw-Gibraltar at $23,000. From Asia, with the slow end to the week negative pressure remained again little in the way of fresh enquiry. An 81,000-dwt was fixed basis delivery Kunsan for a NoPac round voyage at $13,500. Whilst a 74,000-dwt open China fixed a trip via Indonesia redelivery India at $12,200 for WC India and $13,300 for EC India. Period activity remained fairly subdued, an 81,000-dwt open Japan fixing four to seven months trading redelivery worldwide at $17,000.
A rather negative week overall for the Ultramax and Supramax sizes with little fresh enquiry appearing in most areas. In the Atlantic, the US Gulf in particular suffered with little excitement pushing rates down further. A 63,000-dwt was heard to have been fixed from SW Pass for trip to NC South America at $12,500. From the South Atlantic a 62,000-dwt was heard to have been fixed for delivery EC South America for a trip to China at $16,500 plus $650,000. However that said, there seemed to be a little more interest from the Continent / Mediterranean a 57,000-dwt was heard fixed at a price of $16,500 plus $185,000 hold cleaning for a cement run from the East Mediterranean to US East Coast. Like the larger sizes, the sector saw a relatively slow market in Asia, an Ultramax open North China was heard fixed for a NoPac round at $14,500. Further south, a 63,500-dwt open South China fixed a trip via Indonesia redelivery China in the mid $12,000s. From the Indian Ocean, again rates remained under negative pressure a 56,000-dwt fixing delivery South Africa for a trip to WC India at $18,000 plus $180,000 ballast bonus.
In a week punctuated with holidays, visible activity was muted and negative sentiment shrouded the Handysize market in both basins. Across the Continent and the Mediterranean, levels remained stable, with a 28,000-dwt fixing from Casablanca to Koper in the low teens with a cargo of fertilizer and some premium business loading in the Russian Baltic was also rumored to have been fixed on 33,000-dwt in the low $20,000’s to West Africa but further details were not yet available. In the South Atlantic, despite a lack of prompt enquiry, sources expected the market to improve for the second part of April with a 38,000-dwt fixing from Itaqui to Singapore-Japan at $20,000 for mid-April loading. The US Gulf continued to see pressure on prompt tonnage with a 38,000-dwt fixed from Mobile to the UK-Continent with a cargo of pellets at $8,500. With holidays in China, a subdued feeling was visible with a 26,000-dwt linked to fixing from Caofeidian to South East Asia at $8,500.