The surge in Capesize rates abruptly flattened off this week as global markets continue to be highly volatile. The Capesize 5TC lowered -591 from last week to settle at $21,604, yet the market remains primed for movement. Underlying reductions in bunker prices can take a lot of responsibility for taking the wind out of the sails of many markets, yet they are still far from settled. Rumours are being heard that prices are building again due to ongoing geopolitical tensions. The Transpacific C10 switched to paying a premium over the Transatlantic C8 this week, with both routes closing at $24,133 and $20,175 respectively. Fixtures heard out of Brazil with options to load West Africa, discharging Fareast, helped to push up the Tubarao to Qingdao C3 towards the end of the week with it now marking at $28.14. The Backhaul C16 has descended from levels posted early in the week, with a few shorter sharper fixtures, but still remains at a healthy $10,250. The Capesize market will soon be coming out of the first quarter of the year when, historically, it has been known to lift a notch or two in value. With recent strong fixture activity, global tensions and economies continuing to re-open from the pandemic, the market is sure to be pulled in numerous directions and unlikely to stay flat for long.
This week returned a mixed bag for the Panamax market, but ultimately the week ends at softer levels. The sentiment in the Atlantic continued from last week with a softer start, but did appear to find a floor midweek, particularly for the transatlantic trips via the Americas. An 81,000-dwt, delivery Morocco, achieved $21,000 for a trip via US Gulf option NC South America redelivery Skaw-Barcelona. Overall, the week ends with some support. A raft of fixtures midweek on sub-index types were agreed around the $29,000 mark for fronthaul trips via NC South America. However, better bids were evident in the latter part of the week with the Atlantic finding backing. The NoPac and Australia round-trip routes lost circa $5,000 in value week-on-week with limited activity. Indonesian coal, for large parts, was the driver for tonnage open further south, but this fell under pressure as the weekend approached.
Positivity returned to the Atlantic as brokers spoke to a declining list of open tonnage against a steady flow of enquiry, which has seen levels climb. A 63,000-dwt, open in Houston, was fixed for a trip to Imbituba at $30,000. A 53,000-dwt, open in the North Coast South America end of March, fixed a trip to the UK-Continent in the low $30,000s. A 56,000-dwt, open in the US Gulf, was fixed to the West Coast Italy with an intended cargo of Petcoke at $31,750. A 56,000-dwt open in Jorf Lasfar fixed via the Western Mediterranean to Nigeria in the high $20,000s. A 63,000-dwt, open in Vietnam 21-25 March, was fixed for a trip to Bangladesh with an intended cargo of Clinker at $30,000. A 63,000-dwt, open in Singapore with spot dates, was fixed via Indonesia to China at $41,000. A 61,000-dwt, open in Tianjin end of March, was fixed for short period with worldwide redelivery at $42,000.
The BHSI made positive gains this week, driven by positivity in East Coast South America where brokers spoke of increasing enquiry. A 37,000-dwt, open Upriver Plate, 22 March was fixed for a trip to North Brazil with an intended cargo of grains at $45,000. The US Gulf improved with a 39,000-dwt fixing from Puerto Cortez, via the US Gulf to the Continent, at $30,000. Activity in the Mediterranean also saw an upswing. A 33,000-dwt open in Spain fixed via multiple load ports in the Mediterranean to the US Gulf at $16,000. In Asia, activity has been limited. A 33,000-dwt open in China fixed a via Indonesia, redelivery China, in the mid $30,000s. In West Coast South America a 39,000-dwt open in Peru was fixed for a trip via Chile to the St Lawrence River at $30,000. A 28,000-dwt open in Colombo 16-24 March was fixed for five to seven Months with worldwide redelivery at $32,000.