Results from Rio Tinto and BHP disappointed this week, but there was hope that with China reopening it would lead to more cargo. In the end, that certainly seemed to be the case. There was a complete change in seven days as activity was reported from West Australia and in the Atlantic. Not a great deal was reported from Brazil. However, there was enough activity for the indices to all jump significantly. Last Friday the 5TC was at $2,246 and as we close the week it stands at $5,271. Rates from West Australia to China jumped a dollar to near $7, C3 from Brazil with limited activity was trading up slightly in the low to mid $17s. As reported last week the market needs cargo and there is optimism from Owners that the market is turning. But in its fragile state at present it could turn again quickly.
The Panamax market surged into life this week for the first time in 2023. This was fueled largely by firmer demand ex EC South America for mid-March arrivals and ably supported by a buoyant FFA market. All basins subsequently witnessed sizeable gains. Rates of $13,000 + $300,000 agreed early part were now achieving $16,000 + $600,000 on Friday, albeit decent spec tonnage for trips via EC South America redelivery Singapore-Japan. The North saw Transatlantic rates achieve double digits too for the first time in a while. Asia, not to be outshone, also saw solid support over the week - particularly from Indonesia and the Australia to India coal runs with excess $12,000 agreed a couple of times. Grain round trips ex Australia also gained momentum with premium rates rumoured fixed for grain clean tonnage. Period interest naturally grew and there were reports in the early part of the week of an 81,000-dwt delivery China agreeing high $15,000’s basis five to seven months.
A stronger week for the sector with gains made in both basins. The Atlantic saw better activity from the South Atlantic and with more fresh enquiry rates pushed higher from the US Gulf. That said, the Continent remained finely balanced with limited fresh opportunities for owners. From Asia, an influx of prompt requirements from South East Asia buoyed the market and saw vessels being sought from the north to cover the demand. Period cover was sort and a 63,000-dwt open Dammam fixing four to six months trading at $15,500. There was talk of a 63,000-dwt open Mediterranean for one year with redelivery in the Atlantic at $15,000. From the US Gulf a 63,000-dwt was fixed for a petcoke run to the Far East at around $20,000. Further south, a 56,000-dwt fixed delivery NC South America for a Transatlantic run at $13,000. Asia saw a 58,000-dwt open Malaysia fixing a trip via Indonesia to China at $16,500. Further north, a 63,000-dwt was heard fixed delivery North China for a trip via Indonesia redelivery South east Asia in the upper $12,000s.
A week of positivity across the sector. East Coast South America led the charge in the Atlantic, with a 37,000-dwt fixing from Recalada to the Mediterranean at $14,000 whilst another 37,000-dwt fixed from Recalada to the Caribbean at $14,000. In the Mediterranean, a 38,000-dwt fixing from Oran to North Coast South America with an dwt cargo of clinker at $9,250. The US Gulf showed its first shoots of positivity with a 34,000-dwt rumoured to have fixed a trip from the US Gulf to Portugal with an intended cargo of Petcoke at $8,750. In Asia, a 38,000-dwt was fixed from Indonesia via Western Australia to Indonesia with an intended cargo of grains at $10,000. A 34,000-dwt was fixed from Brisbane to Japan with a cargo of sugar at $13,000 and period was also active with a 37,000-dwt rumoured to have been fixed for 10 to 13 months at $14,000.