A steady build for the Capesize market saw the 5TC lift $2,696 to settle the week at $19,437. The trajectory of gains appeared more sustainable this week as pressure continued to build on charterers. Significant tail winds are thought to be coming from the smaller sizes as they have continued their charge upwards this week. Unusual fixtures continue to be heard in the market as charterers have looked to Capesize vessels for respite from their own usual vessel classes. The fixing activity was largely centred around the middle of the week with Friday rumours of it being a softer day. The Pacific West Australia to China C5 remained largely resilient to the wider market throughout the week, only lifting slightly from $9.155 to $9.327. The Brazil to China C3, however, saw fixtures across its loading window which was in strong contango. C3 rates rose $3.2 to close the week at $21.75. Dry bulk FFA’s continue to be heavily traded as this past week saw some record volumes being registered.
A momentous week for the Panamax market, with sharp rises witnessed on all spot trading at rates not seen for many years. With the FFA market ably supporting a strong outlook, healthy levels were agreed for period on forward delivery positions as well as the nearby position. An 82,000-dwt delivery Pacific in June agreed a rate of $22,000 six to eight months whilst a scrubber fitted 82,000-dwt delivery China end March achieved $26,000 for a similar period. In the Atlantic, trading was typically grain centric with the Americas lending robust support against a shrinking tonnage supply and rates advancing daily on all routes. Asia too saw strong rate increases as trade in the region reached new highs. Strong demand from NoPac saw rates soar through the $30,000 mark a few times. Charterers with Indonesia trips to China were forced to pay a premium with rates in the $40,000’s and increasing not uncommon.
Split sentiment over the last week, whilst the Asian basin remained firm there was a slight softening from areas in the Atlantic - particularly the US Gulf. Period activity remained active. A 60,000-dwt open Dalian fixing five to seven months at $26,000, whilst a new building 63,000-dwt was heard fixed ex-yard for three years at $14,000. From the Atlantic, sentiment remained firm from east coast South America for the Ultramax size, which were seeing figures in the region of $20,000 plus $1 million ballast bonus for fronthaul trips. Elsewhere, from the US Gulf, a 56,000-dwt was heard fixed at $28,000 for two to three laden legs redelivery Far East. From Asia, a 63,000-dwt open north China fixed a NoPac round at $26,000. Further south a 61,000-dwt was fixed for a coal run delivery Gresik trip via Indonesia to west coast India at $26,000. Rates remained strong from the Indian Ocean a 63,000-dwt fixing at $19,500 plus $950,000 ballast bonus for a South Africa to Far East run.
Overall it was slightly quieter in the Atlantic this week with limited activity in the Continent and slower pace in other key areas. Despite the level remaining high, east coast South America and the US Gulf showed signs of softening and had their biggest decline of the year so far. Period fixtures include a 32,000-dwt fixing from Sfax at approximately $17,000 for short period and a 34,000-dwt fixing from Israel for a year at $17,500 with redelivery in the Atlantic. Meanwhile, in the east, the timecharter average rates on the 3 Pacific routes are three times as high as they were during the same period last year. The surge was over $1,000 within a day on each route in the mid of the week. A 28,000-dwt delivery Kashima next week was fixed for a trip to Southeast Asia with steels at $28,000 mid-week. A 32,000-dwt delivery Kaohsiung was fixed for a trip via Japan to Singapore with cement at $30,000 earlier of the week.