The Capesize Baltic index returned from year-end holidays this week and immediately saw activity coming from the usual West Australia iron ore flow. Closing out 2021 at $19,176 the Cape 5TC ended its first week in 2022 at $20,167. Initial movement in the market at the beginning of the week appeared positive as physical rates lifted slightly, yet paper markets took the opposite view, leading the 5TC to sink midweek before lifting again for the end of week. The majority of the weeks trade activity came from the West Australia region to China as the C5 route settled up +.459 Friday to close at $9.632. Fixtures out of Brazil and the North Atlantic was more muted, as to be expected this time of the year. While activity was low the tightness of vessels in the region was heard to be high as several vessels were having schedule delays leaving the area primed for rate spikes. The Brazil to China C3 settled for the week at $21.965 while the Transatlantic C8 priced at $24,000 - a small premium over the Transpacific C10 at $18,104. The Capesize paper is showing a small backwardation into February before lifting in March through to the end of the year as optimism for the year holds.
Following an uncharacteristic buoyant festive period, the Panamax market commenced the year in true bullish mode - principally due to a fervent EC South America market. This was ably assisted by premium rates being achieved for breaching INL and forcing ice trades in the North Atlantic, $36,000 was agreed on an 82,000-dwt delivery Hamburg for two laden legs within the Atlantic but this did involve breaching and ice trading. The Asian market this week was essentially supported by EC South America activity with limited demand from Australia and NoPac. As news announced midweek of an Indonesian coal export ban along with subsequent easing in ECSA demand, sentiment waned, and all markets began to see something of a correction. Period activity appeared in abundance with a couple of protagonists taking positions, an 82,000-dwt delivery China achieving $28,500 for five to eight months trading, whilst the same size/type also delivery China agreeing $26,500 for one year’s trading.
Supramax / Ultramax
After the long break a rather subdued week with many areas seeing tonnage oversupply. From Asia it was a mixed bag. With the current export ban of coal from Indonesia, rates remained under pressure. Further North it remained relatively stable with NoPac and Australian business. Limited fresh opportunities from the Atlantic meant again rates remain under pressure. On the period front, an ultramax open South China was fixed for a short period at around $26,000. In the Atlantic, the US Gulf was positional a 56,000-dwt fixing a trip from North Coast south America to the Far East at $37,000. Whilst from the Mediterranean a 62,000-dwt fixed delivery Canakkale trip redelivery US Gulf at $23,000. From the Indian Ocean it was a little more active. A 58,000-dwt fixing a trip delivery Chittagong via East Coast India redelivery Far East at $21,500. Further east, a 58,000-dwt fixed delivery Philippines via Australia redelivery Japan at $22,000.
We begin 2022 with the BHSI's negative trend from last year continuing. Pressure has been mounting on the Continent with a 32,000-dwt open in Rotterdam fixing basis delivery Poland for a trip to East Coast South America at $17,000. A 38,000-dwt open in Antwerp fixing for a trip to the US East Coast at $17,500 with an intended cargo of Steels. A 32,000-dwt was rumoured to have fixed grains from Rouen to the Western Mediterranean at $14,000. The US Gulf also has softer sentiment with a 38,000-dwt fixing from New Orleans to Ireland with an intended cargo of grains at $24,5000. In Asia, the market has been steady despite the coal ban in Indonesia with a 32,000-dwt fixing from Samalaju via Australia to South China with an intended cargo of Salt at $23,000. A 34,000-dwt was fixed from Singapore via Kuantan to Guangzhou in the low $20,000’s with an intended cargo of steels.