Overall it has been an active week for the capes, with a healthy volume of enquiry in the Pacific. The majors have been busy throughout the week from West Australia to China with iron ore, operators have been fixing, and there have been several tender cargoes to Japan. Despite this volume, the market has struggled to gain any traction. A slight standoff had developed by the middle of the week, but it became apparent that towards the end of the week that owners were reluctant to ballast, which ultimately capped any upside. The Atlantic had more of a subdued start to the week and there was a sense of the market grappling to find some stability. As the week progressed there was a major starting fixing from South Brazil to China, and the rates began to dwindle. The North Atlantic looked to be overmarked at the beginning of the week, and eventually we saw a correction, resulting in rather flat market.
It proved to be another negative week for the Panamaxes with no sign of the recent softening trend abating, with little momentum from week beginning and disrupted somewhat by many holidays towards the latter part of the week. The Atlantic appeared predominantly fronthaul led with a steady cargo flow ex NC South America, reports of an 81,000-dwt delivery Continent achieving $18,800 redelivery Singapore-Japan. There was very little to report on trans-Atlantic, with some mineral voyage stems covered, equating to very low time charter equivalents. In Asia, the market lacked any kind of support. Even the coal exports ex Indonesia failed to materialise with talk of an 82,000-dwt agreeing as low as high $7,000s for a trip via Indonesia redelivery India. There was limited period reporting but did include rumours of a scrubber-fitted 81,000-dwt delivery North China concluding at a rate in the $17,000s for mid-term period, with the scrubber benefit heading to charterers.
Overall a subdued feel for the sector, not helped by widespread holidays towards the end of the week. The Atlantic saw little signs of positive movement, although the US Gulf remained positional. Otherwise, a last of fresh enquiry led to lengthening tonnage availability. A 56,000-dwt was heard fixed delivery lower Baltic for a trip to West Africa with grains at $16,500. Further south a 61,000-dwt was heard fixed delivery Santos for a trip to Malaysia at $15,000 plus $500,000 ballast bonus. A similar story from Asia, despite an small upturn in demand from Indonesia mid-week sentiment remained poor, with limited fresh enquiry further north keeping rates in check. A 57,000-dwt fixed delivery passing Taiwan for a trip via Indonesia redelivery Taiwan at $8,500 whilst a 56,000-dwt was heard fixed delivery Singapore for and Australian round redelivery SE Asia at $15,000. Limited action surfaced from the Indian Ocean, although a 59,000-dwt was heard fixed delivery Chittagong via EC India redelivery Arabian Gulf at $6,000.
In a generally subdued week lacking in visible activity due to widespread holidays, the Atlantic’s negative sentiment continued amid a general lack of enquiry across all regions. In the South Atlantic, a 37,000-dwt open in Buenos Aries was fixed basis delivery via River Plate to Atlantic Columbia with an intended cargo of grains at $18,000. A 33,000-dwt was rumoured to have been fixed from Brazil to the Mediterranean at $15,750. Whilst a 37,000-dwt was fixed from Vila Do Conde to Norway with an intended cargo of alumina at $17,500. On the Continent, a 37,000-dwt fixed from the UK to West Coast India with an intended cargo of fertiliser at $13,500. Asia was also lacking visible activity, but levels had remained steady with a 35,000-dwt opening in Guangzhou with end of May dates rumoured to have been fixed for a short period at $11,000 but further details had yet to surface.