The Capesize market rocked and rolled these past few days. But by weeks end little had changed on the Capesize 5TC as it settled down -884 to $24,631. This was a positive difference of $733 to the beginning of the week. The market was not without plenty of activity as the Atlantic Basin continues to maintain a strong positive sentiment with the Transatlantic C8 sitting at $36,425 against the Transpacific C10 at $17,133. Hampering logistics efforts in the Pacific had Cyclone Lucas kicked off the cyclone season in the North-West Australia region. The West Australia to China C5 had a decline in value this week of 0.941 to settle at $7.873. The activity out of Brazil has been tense with a standoff between charterers and owners breaking now slightly to the downside. The Brazil to China C3 now trades at $19.245. Period activity has been ticking over at a healthy level as the strong case for this year continues to hold.
The week began sedately across the board with markets attempting to find direction. Downward pressure came initially from falling FFA values and a lack of demand early in the week forcing some cheaper levels to be conceded by owners. In the North Atlantic, trades involving breaching INL and forcing ice commanded premium numbers. And with continued tonnage tightness in the north, rates held firm for large parts. Asia trading ticked over with rates relatively steady all week. But all the talk midweek was focused on South America with a very active couple of days. Wednesday - and particularly Thursday - with talk of in excess of 20 ships placed from the market, as the market protagonists booked cover for end February/early March arrival dates at loadport. Period activity included an 82,000-dwt delivery China for five to eight months at $14,000 and an 82,000-dwt delivery North China agreeing $13,500 for 12 months employment.
Yet another positive week for the sector, which saw increased demand across all basins. Increasingly, charterers are seeking period cover. A 58,000-dwt open China fixing at around $13,000 for six to nine months trading and an Ultramax size scrubber fitted fixing in the $14,000s. From the Atlantic, east coast South America remained active a 58,000-dwt covering a trip to Bangladesh at $15,000 plus $500,000. Continent – Mediterranean areas also remained firm with Ultra’s seeing in the mid $13,000s for trips to South America. From Asia again the market remained firm. A 61,000-dwt open Japan fixing at $13,000 for a north Pacific round voyage and a 56,000-dwt open north China fixing a trip to south east Asia at $9,250. The Indian Ocean saw increased activity with a 58,000-dwt fixing a trip from South Africa to China at $13,500 plus $350,000 ballast bonus. Meanwhile, a 53,000-dwt fixed a trip delivery west coast India via Arabian Gulf redelivery Bangladesh at $14,000.
Both the overall index and the time charter average landed in positive territory this week. Key markets in the Atlantic gradually improved throughout the week. Trading became more active since midweek including some period deals concluded. From east coast South America, a 34,000-dwt and a 38,000-dwt both delivery Santos were fixed for a trip to Morocco at $13,500 and $14,250 respectively. A 38,000-dwt open in the US Gulf was fixed for moving petcoke to the Mediterranean in the $17,000s after she was failed on subjects for a trip to Algeria at $17,500 early of the week. Meanwhile, rates also climbed further in the Pacific as expected. Brokers suggested the tonnage count declined, especially in the Far East, whilst bad weather continued causing delays. A 33,000-dwt delivery Japan was fixed for a NoPac grain trip to South Korea at $10,500.