Bulk report – Week 24
The market closed on a quiet Friday last week after a few hectic days of mid-week trading. Trade routes from Brazil to the Far East were especially busy, marking possibly the highest volume of trading out of the region this year. While Vale was heard to be present in the Brazilian trade from early on, many other traders, operators, owners and charterers were active at week’s end, pushing rates up on closing. The 5TC average opened the week at $15,007 and largely softened throughout. This was until Thursday, when the market was thought to have found a floor. Solid activity Thursday in European hours had paper markets rallying, with C3 pushing from $16.85 to $17.14. The 5TC average closed Friday at $14,203. The Pacific market saw declines throughout the week, with C5 opening at $7.732, reaching a low of $7.123, and closing out at $7.314. Constant period activity was seen this week, with rates reaching levels at mid to high teens.
The week began with another holiday in most of Europe, a lack of transatlantic enquiry lead to rumours of some very poor voyage fixtures being concluded. Most owners turned their attention to the fronthaul market. However, by the end of the week, prompt tonnage had begun achieving better numbers within the Atlantic and the fronthaul appeared softer. South American activity continued and rates were generally steady, if a little off. With a full week for the Asian market, trade volume increased. The South was especially busy with Indonesian coal, meaning few wanted to ballast. However, as the week ended, the oversupply of tonnage saw charterers begin to cover below last done. The period market has been subdued for weeks now, but there was a rumour of a Tsuneishi newbuilding Kamsarmax covering for more than a year at something in the $13,000s, although exact details proved elusive.
The market was largely flat at the beginning of the week due to holidays in most of the European countries on Monday. The US Gulf and East Coast South America did not show much evident improvement towards the weekend. However, rates from the Black Sea area continued the positive trend throughout. The Pacific market appeared to be quiet, with rates softening. Fixtures were reported for Indonesia loading basis delivery at loadport, whilst the Indian Ocean remained active. On the period front, a 60,000dwt vessel open North China was fixed for one year at $10,900, with redelivery worldwide. A 63,000dwt ship, open spot in Damietta, was fixed for three to five months at $11,250, with redelivery in the Atlantic.
A 56,000-tonner, open Conakry, was fixed to South Brazil at $13,250, basis North Brazil delivery. A similar-sized was paid close to $14,000 from East Coast South America to Algeria. In the East, a 63,000dwt ship, open CJK, was fixed for a steel trip, via Korea, to redeliver in the US Gulf at $3,350 for the first 60 days and $10,500 thereafter. A 58,000-tonner, open Qingdao, was booked to redeliver in East Coast India at $6,500. From the Indian Ocean, a 63,000dwt vessel was taken for moving salt to Korea at $11,500, basis Mumbai delivery, and a 55,000dwt ship was fixed for limestone cargo at $13,000 from Abu Dhabi to West Coast India.
Despite the minor step back on Monday, the Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI) further climbed point by point. The spotlight of the week went to the US Gulf, with sources suggesting more cargoes with end June dates appearing in the Gulf area and lending support. Some brokers saw a ray of hope due to lack of tonnage, with prompt dates especially for the larger Handysized vessels. A period fixture was reported on a 37,000dwt ship, open West Africa, fixing for three to five months at $8,000, with redelivery in the Atlantic. For timecharter trips, a 37,000dwt vessel was fixed from East Coast South America to Peru at $17,500. An Imabari 28 type was fixed from the US East Coast to Rotterdam at $7,500. The Asia market remained quiet, but was described to be “crashing” with little reported.
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