The Capesize market softened this week as global market concern’s kept the headwinds coming. The softening of values was felt across all Capesize 5TC routes as the index lowered throughout the week by -4609 to $19,665. Friday saw a slight uptick in value but little could be read into it at this stage. The impact of sharply rising fuel prices countered much of the slide in rate levels on voyage routes as the main Capesize volume routes Brazil to China C3 and West Australia to China C5 settled at $31.37 and $12.495 respectively. While some routes like Indonesian to India for coal remain relatively busy the overall fixture volume in the Pacific remains insufficient to push the market. There are said to be some pockets of resistance emerging from owners in the Pacific. The ballaster lineup is heard to be well-stocked currently. This is keeping the Atlantic routes well tonnaged which lessens the possibility for any dramatic sparks in value. With the large Posidonia event currently being held in Greece, this week’s attention is surely distracted, while next week it should be back to all hands on deck.
Another week interrupted by holidays in Asia and Europe, combined with many market players in Greece for Posidonia, that has led to a rather lacklustre seven days with falling sentiment, rising tonnage lists and subsequently falling rates across the board. The BPI lost 222 points over the week to close at 2,629 and the P5TC weighted average lost $2,001 to close at $23,662. Owners in the east were holding firm at the start of the week, however by the week end trips for Indonesia / India were lower than last done with owners reducing offers to find cover. As the week progressed there were increasing cargoes for NoPac on forward dates but this did not offer much prompt support. The Atlantic was likewise under pressure with a rising tonnage list competing for limited Transatlantic and ECSA business further eroding rates for the latter. There was a period fixture with a 2010, 82,000-dwt fixed for 12 months at $29,000. However it was reported that period enquiry has weakened amid losses on the FFA market over the week, despite a small rally at the close.
With many people away from their desks due to Posidonia the market in many areas saw a change in direction as rates from key areas such as the US Gulf and East Coast South America fell away. From Asia limited fresh enquiry also appeared from the south but further north limited support remained for backhaul runs. Period activity was limited, but a 64,000-dwt was heard fixed for one year delivery China at $31,000 with redelivery worldwide. In the Atlantic, from the Continent a 63,000-dwt was fixed for a scrap run to the East Mediterranean in the low $19,000s. From the South Atlantic. Ultramax size was fixing very low $20,000s plus around $1 million ballast bonus. From Asia, a 61,000-dwt open Manila fixed a trip via Indonesia redelivery West Coast India at $35,000. Whilst for Pacific rounds a Supramax was heard to have fixed around $30,000 for an Australian round voyage.
With Posidonia and holidays this week, activity was limited and sentiment was negative. In East Coast South America due to a lack of enquiry, levels have dropped considerably with a 38,000-dwt fixing from Recalada to the Continent at $26,500, and 34,000-dwt fixing from Fazendinha to Morocco with an intended cargo of grains at $22,000. There is a similar story in the US Gulf and a 33,000-dwt fixed from South West Pass to Morocco at $16,000. A 34,000-dwt was rumoured to have been placed on subjects for a trip from South West Pass to East Coast Mexico at $13,500. A 32,000-dwt was fixed from Port Arthur to West Coast Central America with an intended cargo of petcoke at $18,000. In Asia, levels have also softened, with a 32,000-dwt fixed from CJK to South East Asia at $23,000. A 38,000-dwt open Laem Chabang was rumoured to have fixed via Australia to South East Asia at $28,500.