It was turbulent seas this week as global markets buffeted the Capesize sector. Amongst this turmoil the sector managed to find a floor under its recent softening as sentiment improved in the latter part of the week with the Capesize 5TC lifting $5,111 over the week to finish at $24,776. Miners were heard to be bidding up strongly amidst a tightening tonnage supply at the end of the week on West Australia to China C5 as it settled at $13.49. The North Atlantic was seen to jump in value, despite seemingly few fixtures. They were said to be of high value providing solid signal of the improving market. The Transatlantic C8 now sits at $29,994, once again the premium paying region to the Transatlantic C10 at $22,418. The market looks set to break through on the upside of a recent trading range. Whether there is enough push to keep the market pumping higher, especially while global markets appear far from settled, is difficult to read. Yet coming into the second part of the year history tells us cargo flows will be increasing while downside from $20,000 on the 5TC never seems to last too long under owner resistance.
The Panamax market encountered a steady rise this week following recent weeks of falls. A floor was seemingly found on Tuesday, primarily in the Atlantic. However, Asia soon followed suit with improved demand found in both basins. The Atlantic was for the most part grain centric with decent levels of support found in both the North and South Americas absorbing tonnage open Gibraltar-Continent range. This in turn added assistance to rates to the Transatlantic runs the latter part of the week. A 79,000-dwt delivery Cape Passero agreed to a rate of $23,000 for a Transatlantic round trip, typifying route P1a levels. Indonesia coal demand appeared the main driver for the Pacific this week with plentiful activity. And, with an improving EC South America market, the south was well supported. An 82,000-dwt delivery South China agreed $23,500 for an Indonesia to China trip, the highlight of the week.
A rather positional week overall. Whilst some key areas such as the US Gulf lacked impetus, from South America better opportunities were seen. Similarly, from Asia, mixed blessings as Indonesian coal business ramped up there was little fresh enquiry from NoPac and Australia. However, although some said period activity had renewed interest, few fixtures surfaced. The Atlantic saw the ultramax size now seeing in the low $20,000s plus low $1,000,000 million ballast bonus for East coast South America fronthaul business. By contrast, an ultramax was heard fixed for a Barranquilla to Argentina under $20,000. Renewed interest from South Asia saw a 63,000-dwt fixing delivery Chittagong trip via Indonesia redelivery West Coast India at around $28,000. Meanwhile, a 55,000-dwt fixed delivery Passing Singapore trip via Indonesia redelivery China at $29,000. Activity from the Indian Ocean saw a 66,000-dwt fixing delivery Hazira trip via Arabian Gulf redelivery Chittagong at $34,000.
During the week there were more significant drops from East Coast South America, as well as the US Gulf, due to lack of fresh enquiry. A 32,000-dwt fixing from Recalada to Liverpool with an intended cargo of grains at $19,600 and a 34,000-dwt being placed on subjects for a trip from Galveston to Spain at $16,000. The Continent and Mediterranean markets also softened during the week with a 33,000-dwt rumoured to have fixed from Egypt to East Coast South America at around $14,000 and a 35,000-dwt rumoured to have been placed on subjects for a trip from Morocco to Brazil with an intended cargo of fertilizer at $13,000. In Asia, brokers spoke of limited fresh enquiry for prompt tonnage and numbers started to soften. A 44,000-dwt open in Singapore was fixed via Indonesia to China at $29,000. A 29,000-dwt was fixed from Loukou via North China to the Arabian Gulf at $24,000.