The Capesize Timecharter Average (C5TC) closed on a positive note on Friday before entering the last week of May, which will start with a public holiday in the UK next Monday. The C5TC at $21,674 is about $500 lower week-on-week but $5,000 higher year-on-year. West Australia to China trade hovered in the range from high $9s to mid $10s, with a public holiday in Singapore interrupting mid-week. Good weather was finally reported from Brazil, followed by more activity towards the second half of the week, eventually settling at $24.765. It was a tricky and a mixed bag in the Atlantic as both high and low fixtures were reported. Laycan can be the crucial factor in fixing trans-Atlantic and fronthaul runs.
The Panamax market returned mostly a flat week, however in parts of the Asian basin a steady rise ensued with solid levels of demand and firm fundamentals. The Atlantic disappointed by comparison, the trans-Atlantic voyages in particular returning an underwhelming week with thin visibility. Fronthaul activity fared slightly better with steady grain and mineral demand emanating from the Americas both North and South. Reports mid-week of an 81,000-dwt delivery Gibraltar achieving $26,000 for a trip via US Gulf to China. In Asia plentiful activity with sound demand from all major load origins. Strong rates especially ex Australia were witnessed with reports of an 82,000-dwt delivery China agreeing $19,500 for a trip via Australia redelivery Japan, and with talk over $20,000 was achieved for same run on index type tonnage. Period activity was minimal, but the highlight did include rumors of a modern 81,000-dwt delivery Japan achieving $20,000 basis 10/14 months period.
A rather subdued week for the sector as holidays both in Europe and Asia interrupted the flow. In the Atlantic, little fresh enquiry was seen resulting in lower rates being discussed as prompt tonnage remained readily available. A 56,000-dwt was fixed from the US Gulf to the Continent at $13,000. Whilst further south a 52,000-dwt was heard fixed for a sugar run from Santos Southeast Asia at around $14,500 plus $450,000 ballast bonus. From Asia a similar lacklustre feel, certainly from Southeast Asia, again limited fresh cargo being blamed. A 60,000-dwt fixing delivery Thailand via Indonesia redelivery South China at $19,500. Further north, brokers said there was a reasonable amount of enquiry, however tonnage availability remained healthy keeping rates in check. The Indian Ocean despite a fair amount of action remained static, a 63,000-dwt fixing a trip from South Africa to China at $22,000 plus $220,000 ballast bonus. Period action was limited but a 57,000-dwt open Indian Ocean was fixed for three to five months trading redelivery worldwide at $15,000.
Cargo availability was said to have begun to improve across the Atlantic, but with a large amount of prompt tonnage levels limited the positive gains so far. The most visible activity was seen in the US Gulf as a 39,000-dwt was fixed for a trip from SW Pass to North Coast South America at $10,400 while a 39,000-dwt fixed from the US Gulf to the Continent with an unspecified dirty cargo at $10,500. A 35,000-dwt was fixed from Houston via the Red Sea with redelivery in Port Said with an intended cargo of grains at $11,000. In the South Atlantic, a 40,000-dwt fixed from Recalada to Singapore-Japan at $24,500. Positivity remained across the Asian markets with healthy levels of cargo availability helping maintain the upwards trend despite holidays in Singapore this week. The Arabian Gulf also remained active with a 38,000-dwt fixing a trip to Bangladesh with urea at $19,000 with an option on redelivery passing Singapore at $14,000.