It has been a decidedly mixed week on the large bulkers, with limited activity in the Pacific for the majority of the week. It did show signs of life on Friday with a strong cargo count in the North Atlantic. But sentiment seemed to weaken as the week progressed, despite what appeared to be a short tonnage list and some volatility in the FFA market. The BCI lost 42 points over the week to close at 3,987. The Capesize timecharter average lost $346 to close at $33,069. It was felt there was a standoff between Owners and Charterers in the East in particular, though there was a wide spread reported from Brazil of between $25 and $28. As a consequence there has been limited fixing activity. The story of the week has really been about cargo in the North Atlantic with a number of fixtures from Seven Islands for NYK, Cargill and Glencore all linked to fixtures. Tata are also in the market for Narvik to Port Talbot. There have been a number of tenders this week for NYK, Ore & Metal and Kepco offering some support to the market.
It proved to be another week which saw the BPI make further sizable gains. A midweek grain push from EC South America and elsewhere in the North Atlantic saw substantial demand outstrip what had become a desolate tonnage count for Continent and Med positions. Aided by a firmer physical and FFA market, the outlook remained good with market players taking some cover with a host of period fixing. An 81,000-dwt delivery China achieving a shade below $30,000 for six to eight months charter. Generally, transatlantic rates for the week hovered around the $30,000 mark. Fronthaul fixing saw a 76,000-dwt delivery Continent agree $41,500 for a trip via EC South America redelivery Far East, but a big anticipation for these to further increase heading into next week. Asia, by contrast, lacked any real spark but was boosted midweek by EC South America activity and rates began to halt their decline.
Despite a slow start, the positive sentiment continued from last week in most areas. Limited period activity surfaced, Cargill fixed a 57,000-dwt open Abidjan early July for five to seven months at $30,500 with redelivery Atlantic. Demand remained firm in South America with Ultramaxes achieving rates in the mid $20,000’s plus ballast bonus in the region of $1.5 million for trips to Singapore-Japan. For transatlantic, a 61,000-dwt open west Africa obtained $31,500 for a trip via river plate to UK-Continent. Elsewhere, rates remained strong with a 52,000-dwt open east Mediterranean fixing around $38/39,000 level for a trip to west Africa. From north Asia, Ultramaxes were fixing in the mid $30,000s for Pacific rounds. Further south a 63,000-dwt open Singapore saw in the upper $30,000s for a trip via South Africa and redelivery Far East. A 58,000-dwt open Indonesia fixed at $37,000 for a trip to CJK and a 53,000-dwt saw $36,000 for a nickel ore run.
This week has seen the Atlantic indices rise considerably, with both the Continent and East Coast South America markets making large positive gains. With the latest HS3 East Coast South America to Skaw/Passero being fixed on a 38,000-dwt at $38,250, last week similar was fixed at around $30,000. The Continent also improved with a 38,000-dwt open France being fixed for a trip to the US Gulf at $28,000. In Asia, activity was limited and the market less bullish with a 38,000-dwt open Japan prompt fixing a trip via CIS to North China at $26,000. Period has been more active with a 36,000-dwt open in China fixing for four to seven months with worldwide redelivery at $25,000. A 38,000-dwt in South Korea fixing two to three Laden Legs with redelivery worldwide at $29,000. In the Atlantic, a 35,000-dwt open on the Continent prompt was fixed for four to six months with redelivery in the Atlantic at $26,000.
Source: The Baltic Exchange