The market staged a turn around this week lifting $3,199 on the TC average to settle Friday at $30,972. Timecharter levels now look to be trading towards the upper range of $35,000, where it has attempted several times recently to break through without success. Activity in the Atlantic basin has been stronger over the past week, which will be need impetus in pushing this market to new highs. The fronthaul C9 had a significant push to close out the week as Charterers were heard paying up for tonnage. The Brazil to China C3 was a steady gainer throughout the week, now at $26.875, while the timecharter C14 on the route ticked up to $28,046. The ballaster route remains the laggard against the transpacific C10 at $30,367 and the transatlantic at $34,275. The Pacific basin, which hasn’t been impressing on activity levels, ended the week on a softer note as Charterers appetite appears tempered. Now solidly into Q3, many expectations are optimistic for new highs. While the market remains in the current trading range earnings for Owners are considered reasonable. The market appears well supported so downside risk is thought to be limited. Many are now waiting for the upside break out.
A mixed week, which started with rates appearing to be slightly under pressure due to thin activity and talk of Capesize tonnage eating into some transatlantic stems from north America as a result of a tight tonnage count in the Skaw-Gibraltar position. Solid support all week on fronthaul rates principally ex Continent and Black Sea, with route P2A averaging around the $55,000 mark. Some support was found midweek for early August arrivals ex EC South America, predominantly on the back of FFA gains. Asia proved to be largely sluggish all week. Aside from several Japanese coal stems - and a splattering of Korean coal tenders - support was lent further afield from the Black sea and EC South America but it proved to be a testing week at times for Owners in the east with a lack of demand in the region. Typically, the P3A rate averaged around the $32,000 mark.
A lacklustre feel from most regions this week, as little fresh enquiry combined with a build-up of open tonnage resulted in easing of rates. The BSI lost ground week on week closing at 2,891. Period levels, however, remained firm. A 61,000-dwt open UK fixing minimum five months at $37,000 and 61,000-dwt open China fixing one year at $29,000. From the Atlantic, more scrap movements saw 57,000-dwt fixing in the upper $30,000s from the Continent to east Mediterranean. From the US Gulf a 55,000-dwt was fixed for a petcoke run to China at $43,500. Meanwhile in Asia, a 53,000-dwt open south China fixed an Indonesian coal run to China around $25,000 level. Further north, a 57,000-dwt open north China fixed a trip to Bangladesh at $31,000. In the Indian Ocean area, a 58,000-dwt was fixed delivery South Africa redelivery Pakistan at $33,000 plus $550,000 ballast bonus. All eyes are on the upcoming week to see if there is any change in direction.
Activity was limited this week in the Atlantic but a positive sentiment remained. East coast South America has seen the upwards trend slow but a 37,000-dwt was rumoured to have fixed basis delivery APS Recalada and redelivery Continent at $42,000. A 36,000-dwt open in Antonina was rumoured to have been fixed basis delivery DOP via River Plate to Brazil with grains at $41,000. The Black Sea grains season has started with brokers feeling this region will continue to strengthen in the coming weeks. A 40,000-dwt, meanwhile, was rumoured to have been fixed basis delivery Cannakale to the US Gulf at $30,000. Asia has seen positive moves in most regions with a lack of prompt tonnage allowing Owners to achieve improved levels. A 36,000-dwt open Indonesia was rumoured to have been fixed basis delivery DOP via Australia to China at $28,000, whilst a 35,000-dwt logger was rumoured to have fixed for two Laden Legs with redelivery Pacific at $33,000.