The Capesize market leapt up in the latter part of the week, erasing most of the losses since the closing week of May. The Capesize 5TC opened the week with a relatively paltry $20,933, took some moderate losses early in the week to $19,845 before rebounding strongly to close out the week at $27,752. The paper market was abuzz mid-week as FFA volumes spiked with the market sensing a turn around. The North Atlantic, which has struggled for activity in the past month, saw a rise in fronthaul cargo that fixed at significant premiums to the index. The C9 Fronthaul route rose $11,385 to close at $48,750. Out of Brazil to the Far East on the C3 route the beginning of the week saw split month loading dates and distressed vessels being taken advantage of earlier on. By midweek the focus was on first-half July loading where bid offers were seen to surge up wildly. While the Pacific tried to maintain some stability early on, the rises in western routes had owners in the east stiffening their backs and lifting offers. Period interest is heard to be very strong in the market as traders clamour for vessels. The second half of 2021 looks set to challenge the first half.
The Panamax market erupted into life midweek with rates improving as a strong push from both South and North America led the drive. A fervent FFA market also gave the period market some traction and a raft of deals were concluded at stronger levels, notably a new build scrubber fitted 82,000-dwt delivery ex Yard China achieving $27,000 for one year’s employment. In the Atlantic, the week began on a firm note against a tight tonnage count in the North. With strong mineral and grain-led demand, Charterers scrambled to hit the offers where owners were willing to stand still. Midweek witnessed a binge of fixing from EC South America and this in turn gave additional support to the Asia market that, up until that point, had been relatively flat. Offers now for the Pacific round trips were seen in excess of $30,000, $35,000 getting fixed for a trip via Indonesia redelivery Japan.
Period activity has been busy this week with a 63,000-dwt open Dangjin fixing for five to seven months at $30,000. A similar-sized vessel open Singapore was fixed for one year at $24,000. An Ultramax vessel delivery Bin Qasim for four to six months at $32,000. The surge from the US Gulf pushed the relevant Gulf routes to the highest point of the year, with brokers suggesting it was largely due to the shortage of tonnage in the region. A 61,000-dwt was fixed from US east coast to the Continent at $45,000. From east coast South America, Ultramax vessels were reportedly fixed for a trip to Japan at $22,500 plus a ballast bonus of $1.25 million, and a 52,000-dwt was fixed for a trip to the Philippines at $21,000 plus a one million ballast bonus. From the Indian Ocean, a 53,000-dwt delivery Pakistan was fixed for a trip back to the Far East at approximately $36,000, and a 56,000-dwt delivery Dammam was fixed for a trip via the Arabian Gulf to east coast India at $37,000.
Sentiment in Asia has changed in recent days, with all three routes making positive moves this week. Brokers spoke of more cargo in general and less prompt tonnage open. A 38,000-dwt open in CJK fixed a trip to the Continent at $28,500. A 33,000-dwt open CJK was fixed a trip to Indonesia-Philippines range at $19,000 in the early part of the week. The Atlantic has seen steady improvements, with brokers saying more cargo was now open in East Coast South America. A 32,000-dwt was fixed from South Brazil to the Continent at $26,000. A 39,000-dwt was fixed basis delivery SW Pass for a trip to the Continent at $20,000. A 28,000-dwt open Key West 16-22 June was fixed for two to three laden legs with redelivery worldwide at $19,000. A 35,000-dwt open SW Pass in mid June was fixed for three to five months with Redelivery Atlantic Excluding West and South Africa at $20,850.