The Capesize market traded sideways this week as the 5TC closed at $10,302, an improvement of +1384 over the week. Lunar New Year holidays ensured the market was more subdued with holidays across Asia. Fixture activity looked to increase towards the end of the week. However, this was mainly based around the usual trade routes of West Australia to China C5, which closed at $7.164, and Brazil to China C3 which settled at $20.26. For the low earnings inherent in the voyage rates, they are relatively highly priced. This is due to the increased influence that bunker fuels are having on the market. Energy demand globally is seeing owners pay substantially more to fuel their vessels as Low Sulphur Bunker Fuel prices now well over $700 per mt. With all traders due back from holidays next week many will be looking for winds to drive the Capesize market out of its current doldrums.
January came and went in a blink it seems. A month for many to perhaps forget, with the BPI 5 timecharter average yielding a $9,411 correction month-on-month. This week, blighted by Lunar holidays, continued the theme. The Atlantic witnessed minimal demand seeing a further decline in rates, although sentiment and general feel improved Thursday/Friday. However, suppressed all week by an increasing tonnage count of ballasters and early ships - especially in the North Continent - the market for transatlantic and fronthaul trips from the Americas remained largely APS delivery basis. This highlighted the depressive nature of the market. An 82,000-dwt delivery APS EC South America agreed $22,750 for a trip to the Mediterranean. Asia, meanwhile, unsurprisingly proved to be fairly subdued with so many players absent from the market for the first half of the week. However, a handful of deals did occur and an 81,000-dwt fixed at $20,000 for a trip via Indonesia redelivery Philippines.
A mixed bag during the past week, no doubt being affected by the Lunar Holidays in Asia. However, as the week drew to a close positive sentiment was seemingly returning. Little period action surfaced, but some brokers commented that demand from operators for tonnage was strong. In the Atlantic a rather sideways week from key areas such as the US Gulf. A 55000-dwt fixing a transatlantic run at $14,000, whilst for trips to the Far East a 54,000-dwt fixed in the mid $20,000s. More activity was seen from the Mediterranean, changing owners’ expectations. A 55,000-dwt fixing a trip from the East Mediterranean to West Africa at around $21,000. From Asia there was limited action, but interest was seen in the Indian Ocean. A 63,000-dwt fixing a trip delivery Port Elisabeth redelivery China at $25,250 plus $525,000 ballast bonus. Meanwhile, a 58,000-dwt was heard fixed delivery South Africa for a trip to India at $23,000 plus $305,000 ballast bonus.
The first glimmers of recovery in some regions were seen as the week ended with some expecting to see an upturn as the Lunar New Year celebrations came to a close. East Coast South America saw a 32,000-dwt fixing for Nueva Palmira to the Continent at $24,000 with an intended cargo of woodpulp. The US Gulf, by contrast, remained soft. A 39,000-dwt fixed from South West Pass to Turkey at $14,000. A 38,000-dwt was rumoured fixed for a similar run to Ireland at around $13,000. Sentiment firmed elsewhere as the week closed. A 30,000- dwt fixing a trip delivery Morocco redelivery Bangladesh at $19,000. From Asia, activity was limited due to the long holiday. However, a 38,000-dwt was rumoured to have been fixed for a trip from CJK via Vostochny back to China at $12,000. Despite this, sentiment from the region generally remained flat.