A mild week for the Capesize sector saw rates trundling sideways with small pockets of encouragement. However, there was nothing to initiate a push out of the recent trading range as the 5TC softened 130 week-on-week to settle at $19,745. A brief lift midweek gave some suggestion that a strengthening of sentiment in the Atlantic was imminent. But by Friday this spark looks to have been snuffed out as the Transatlantic C8 settled down slightly at $26,167. Market views on the Atlantic situation have been mixed as some stronger fixtures were heard, but these were expected to have had a premium paid for their shorter duration. Out of Brazil market chatter was lively midweek about several Newcastlemax iron ore cargoes fixed. Nevertheless, subsequent information poured cold water on this with a claim the information was inaccurate. The Brazil to China C3 market closed the week down -0.106 at $30.40. The Pacific region was said to be seeing an increase in tonnage levels, which saw the market lose momentum and drop slightly. West Australia to China C5 closed at $11.535 which the Transpacific C10 finished up at $14,841, a significant discount to the Atlantic basin. Now into Q3, trade volumes should be increasing. But with European summer almost upon us, the market appears unmotivated to push in any direction.
For the third successive week corrections were seen in the Panamax market. Muted demand was again met by a sea of prompt tonnage along with an increasing ballaster count. Both basins lacked any meaningful replenishment of fresh cargoes, eating into rates already under pressure. The Atlantic appeared predominantly grain centric with little mineral activity of note, typically a 76,00-dwt delivery Gibraltar achieved $21,000 for a trip via NC South America redelivery Cape Passero. Asia, once again, saw a relative rise in volume week-on-week ex Indonesia. However, this appeared to have very little impact with ships returning to the market as owners locked in these quick trips. An 82,000-dwt delivery South China agreed $20,500 for a trip via Indonesia redelivery South Korea. It was a limited week of period activity again. However an 82,000-dwt delivery South China achieved $21,000 for five to seven months employment.
A rather dull week for the sector as most areas lacked fresh impetus and a build up of prompt tonnage. As the week ended, however, some saw a bit of resistance to the malaise from key areas. This included the US Gulf, where owners became reluctant to reposition to the Continent area. Similarly, from South East Asia, activity seemingly increased but little fixing surfaced. Period activity was limited but a 60,900-dwt open Arabian Gulf was heard fixed in the mid $30,000s for three to five months trading. From the Atlantic, a 55,000-dwt fixed delivery West Mediterranean trip via East Mediterranean redelivery US Gulf at $23,000. From the South, a 58,000-dwt was fixed for a South American coastal run in the mid $30,000s. From Asia, at the beginning of the week a 50,000-dwt open Singapore was heard fixed for an Indonesia to China run in the mid $18,000s. By contrast, a 56,000-dwt open Singapore was heard fixed in the mid $20,000s for a similar run. Further north there was limited fresh enquiry. However, a 64,000-dwt open Japan fixed a NoPac round redelivery Southeast Asia at $31,000.
With largely negative sentiment in both basins, in which brokers described a lack of fresh enquiry as a main contributing factor, levels have softened across the board except for requirements from China to the Atlantic. These have remained stable with a 38,000-dwt fixing from South China to the Mediterranean at $36,000. A 38,000-dwt fixed from Singapore via Australia to Taiwan with an intended cargo of salt at $23,000. A 36,000-dwt fixed from Gresik via Western Australia to China with an intended cargo of Salt at $25,000. In the Atlantic, a 39,000-dwt fixed from Vila Do Conde to Iceland with an intended cargo of Alumina at $25,000. Meanwhile, a 32,000-dwt fixed from Paranagua to the Black Sea with an intended cargo of sugar at $23,000. In the US Gulf, a 39,000-dwt was fixed for a trip from SW Pass to the Turkish Mediterranean at $19,000.