The Capesize market continues to struggle as demand for iron ore remains weak. Vessels in the Atlantic have had difficulties finding cargo, while those available have been fought over with prices diving as a result. The Transatlantic C8 bottomed out this week at $944 as much speculation swirled as to how low the route may go. The C8 closed the week at $2,367. As several Capesize vessels have gone into hot layup at strategic locations, scrubber-fitted vessels have continued to trade as normal due to the high and low sulphur bunker spread commanding a strong premium. In the Pacific, cargo flow has been patchy yet has improved towards the end of the week. This has seen West Australia to China C5 lift to settle at $8.885, while the Transpacific C10 closed at $10,445. The Capesize 5TC marked at $2505 on Wednesday which was close to an all-time low. A small reprieve as additional West Australia and Brazil cargo has lifted the index up to $6076 by week’s end. However, the market is far from fully resuscitated as trading levels still flirt slightly above operating expense levels.
It has proved to be a tale of two halves for the Panamax market. The week followed on from the previous with fundamentals unchanged and an ever-growing tonnage count, which led to nearby and committed tonnage discounting heavily in order to get fixed. But by midweek there were signs of a turnaround in fortunes. As FFA values rose, dragging with it some resistance from owners, better bids followed and levels in some parts saw obvious improvements. East Coast South America returned an APS plus ballast bonus market and rates improved on this basis. Figures of $15,000 + $500,000 were around average for the early part, with talk of bids now being around the $16,000 + $600,000 mark for slightly earlier than index laycan. Asia was largely Indonesia centric. Typhoon Hinnamnor had a slight impact in the North of the region. Rates on the Indonesia round trip returned a mean average of $13,500 on the week with a decent level of fixing.
The US Gulf was said to have seen the tonnage list grow. An Ultramax was rumoured to have been placed on subjects for a trip from SW Pass to Singapore-Japan range in the high teens, but further information is yet to surface. In East Coast South America, an Ultramax was rumoured to have been placed on subjects for transatlantic business at around $28,000. In Asia, a 63,000-dwt was fixed from North China via Indonesia to West Coast India at $15,500. A 58,000-dwt open in South East Asia was fixed via Indonesia to China at $17,000. In the Arabian Gulf, a 56,000-dwt open in Dammam was fixed via the Arabian Gulf to Bangladesh in the high teens, but further details are yet to emerge. A 63,000-dwt was fixed for four to seven months with redelivery Arabian Gulf-Japan range at $19,000.
A turbulent week across all regions, with a general lack of fresh enquiry still a major factor in what has been a negative market in recent weeks. In The US Gulf, numbers have fallen with a 36,000-dwt fixing for a trip from Panama City, Florida to Denmark at $15,750. Meanwhile, a 34,000-dwt was rumoured to have been placed on subjects for a trip from Galveston to Puerto Cabello at around $12,000. In East Coast South America a 38,000-dwt was rumoured to have been placed on subjects for a trip from Recalada to West Coast South America at around $26,000. The Continent has also softened with a 34,000-dwt fixing from Skaw via the Lower Baltic to West Africa at $13,250. In Asia, a 35,000-dwt fixed from Laem Chabang via Indonesia to East Coast India at $18,000. A 34,000-dwt open in Chittagong was fixed for three to five months at $18,850 with worldwide redelivery.