The Capesize market was in a steep climb for most of this week as it reached a pinnacle of $74,786 Wednesday before stalling, regathering, and then pushing on to $75,190 at weeks end. These heights were last visited in November 2009. The market is currently looking very robust on several fronts with vessel tightness on numerous loading windows across the globe, while an energy crisis in several countries add complications. This combination may provide further signal for rallies to come. With that said, the paper market seems less convinced as a steep fall to $50k levels for the Q4 period is pricing. Looking at the Pacific basin, the Transpacific C10 opened the week at $67,000 before surging to $82,854 on the back vessel tightness before charterers managed to pull it back slightly to close the week at $76,328. The Atlantic Basin showed less signs of abating as it hit a high to close the week at $84,750. The Fronthaul C9, a preference for many vessel owners now to close out Q4, was commanding a headline topping $105,650, rising +5950 on Friday alone. The market remains very buoyant with prices a little wild as traders move in big increments.
The Panamax market proved to be a mixed picture this week, with the Atlantic shedding recent gains as the North of the region came under severe pressure. Conversely, the Asian basin witnessed some substantial gains with the NoPac trips proving to offer underlying support. Pressure was applied all week in the Atlantic as tonnage built up in the North. And, despite decent demand from the Black Sea, rates eased on both the transatlantic trips as well as the fronthaul. Asia proved to be mostly NoPac centric with solid levels of activity throughout. The highlight was $40,500 being agreed on an 82,000-dwt delivery Japan. However, the mean rate over the week returned circa $37,500 for 82,000-dwt types. The Australia to India coal runs continued to command decent premiums with $36,500 concluded a few times on 82,000-dwt vessels with China delivery. Period activity included a 76,000-dwt agreeing $29,000 for 9/12 months, basis China delivery.
Whilst sentiment remained positive in most areas, brokers described a rather lethargic week overall as the upcoming holidays in China kept a lid on activity levels. The BSI made slight gains from the end of last week seeing a week on week gain of 24 points from last Friday's close. Period activity remained. A 52,000-dwt open East Mediterranean fixing in the mid $30,000s for six to eight months trading redelivery Atlantic. From the South Atlantic, the upper $20,000s - plus upper $1 million ballast bonus for fronthaul runs to Asia and the Indian Ocean areas - were seen. Demand remained from the Mediterranean for inter Atlantic business. A 56,000-dwt open central Mediterranean fixing a trip to West Africa at $51,500. With the upcoming holidays, the Asian arena waned as the week came to an end. However, a 56,000-dwt fixing a trip from Indonesia to China at $43,000. Good levels were seen from the Indian Ocean, a 56,000-dwt open Chittagong fixing a trip via South Africa redelivery China at $35,000.
The US Gulf made large positive strides this week, with a 38,000-dwt fixed for a trip from the US Gulf to the Continent/Mediterranean range at $28,000. A scrubber fitted 40,000-dwt was fixed from Tampico via Houston to North Brazil at $33,000 for a cargo of Petcoke. East Coast South America is a split market with the South Brazil and Argentina region seeing good returns with a 37,000-dwt fixing from Recalada to Peru-chile Range at $54,000. A 33,000-dwt open UK was fixed via the Continent to Brazil with Fertilizers at $36,000. Asia has been less active but a 33,000-dwt open Vietnam fixed two to three laden legs at $35,000 with worldwide redelivery. A 36,000-dwt open Philippines fixed via Australia to South East Asia with Alumina at $35,000. Period saw a 34,000-dwt logger open in Australia fixing for a period in the mid $30,000s plus a $450,000 ballast bonus.