There was a turning of the tide this week as rates initially rallied robustly before negative sentiment settled in to see rates plummet from midweek. The Pacific basin, and in particular the WC Australia/China (C5) market, was the early driver with rates pushing up on minimal fixing activity. The remainder of the market was also quiet at this time but was content to rally on the positive sentiment generated. The Capesize 5TC reached $34,299 on Tuesday before closing the week out at $29,106. As the sentiment changed, activity rose slightly with owners scrambling for cargoes. The C5 market lost $0.895 over the week to end at $11.055. The Atlantic Basin fared little better this week as the north Atlantic remains quiet with talk of several Capesize vessels being fixed for Panamax cargoes. Out of Brazil, Charterer bids were in constant reduction as the Brazil to China (C3) fell $1.885 over the week to close out at $25.81. Friday was a largely an inactive day after the eventful week as parties come to terms with the new levels.
The BPI average returned its highest value since May 2010 as the imbalance of supply versus demand in the Atlantic impacted rates across most origins. Along with a vigorous looking north Atlantic market, Black sea grain exports kicked into gear and with it came sourcing of tonnage from far-flung deliveries, as far out as China, with the tonnage count for Skaw-Mediterranean positions dwindling. This only added traction on rates on most positions despite it being a lacklustre Asian market. Reports of an 82,000-dwt delivery Singapore agreeing $38,000 for a trip via Black sea redelivery Singapore-Japan range. A nicely described 84,000-dwt delivery Japan achieved $36,000 for a trip via EC Australia redelivery Taiwan as rates on the pacific rounds improved on the back of the spike seen in the Atlantic. Despite a wide bid/offer spread, a heap of period fixtures emerged including an 82,000-dwt delivery China fixing at $29,500 for one-year period.
Whilst most areas remained positive, there was some weakening from the US Gulf with limited fresh enquiry and the strong sentiment seen elsewhere eased. From Asia, after a strong start, some described the areas stabilising with rates hovering around last done. Period activity was muted but rates remained healthy, a 61,000-dwt open south east Asia fixing one year at $29,000 whilst a 58,000-dwt open Mediterranean fixed medium period in the upper $30,000s with Atlantic redelivery. From east coast South America, Ultramax tonnage was seeing rates in the mid $20,000s plus mid $1 million ballast bonuses from the coast for trip to China. There was stronger demand from the Mediterranean, where a 50,000-dwt open Greece fixed a trip to US east coast in the low $30,000s. From Asia, a 63,000-dwt open Singapore fixed a round voyage via Indonesia in the upper $30,000s. Whilst from the Indian Ocean, an Ultramax open Arabian Gulf was fixed for two to three laden legs redelivery Arabian Gulf- west coast India at $45,000.
The Atlantic remained firm but Asia was less bullish. East Coast South America was the main driving force, with numbers pushing up from Monday when a 38,000-dwt was fixed basis APS Recalada for a trip to the west Mediterranean at $35,000. Later in the week when a 34,000-dwt was fixed basis delivery South Brazil via River Plate to the Continent at $38,500. On the Continent, a 37,000-dwt fixed a trip via the Baltic to East Coast South America at $27,000. In Asia, a 37,000-dwt was fixed basis delivery Thailand via Australia with Redelivery China at $28,500. The India Ocean remained firm with a 39,000-dwt open west coast India fixing a cargo of steels with redelivery east coast South America at $40,000. Period this week, a 34,000-dwt open Continent fixed four to six months redelivery Atlantic at $26,250 and a smaller 32,000-dwt open in China fixed for 12 months with redelivery worldwide at $23,000.