The capesize market witnessed a mixed and evolving week with notable fluctuations in different regions. The Pacific market started with limited activity and weather disruptions in North China, causing a decline in C5 rates. Projections of additional port closures due to adverse weather conditions added uncertainty. The North Atlantic continued to grapple with a significant shortage of available tonnage, compounded by additional delays in Rotterdam, leading to limited activity, with some operators nominating their own tonnage for their cargoes. A subtle change in sentiment in the Pacific occurred by the middle of the week, with resistance from some owners leading to a slight increase in C5 rates. South Brazil and West Africa experienced fluctuations throughout the week, initially presenting a weaker outlook with a gap between bid and offer prices. However, towards the end of the week, there were reports of a few fixtures concluded at levels above the published C3 index on the day, suggesting a potential positive shift in sentiment. As the week concludes, the Pacific market seems relatively subdued, while the Atlantic exudes a renewed sense of optimism, exemplified by the BCI 5TC climbing by $410, closing the week at $17,708.
An eventful week for the Panamaxes with the market finding some life in the first half of the week only to ease and flatline as the weekend approached. In the Atlantic, mid-February arrivals in EC South America supplied much of the action. Nicely described 82,000-dwt types were able to secure rates around the $18,000 mark for second half arrival dates ex South America for trips Far East. Further north, activity was less liquid. In Asia, rates continued to improve ex NoPac with $12,650 achieved by an 82,000-dwt delivery China for a grain NoPac round trip, the South saw a minor pick up too with Australia and Indonesia seeing marginally better demand and buoyed somewhat by the pick-up in South America. A solid week too for the period with various deals concluded as optimism in the market persisted. An 87,000-dwt agreed to $19,500 basis 1 year’s trading whilst several deals.
A slight change in direction for the sector throughout the week with positive sentiment returning in a few areas. In the Atlantic firmer numbers were seen from South America with better levels of activity and a fairly tight tonnage count in place. Despite little fresh fixing being reported the US Gulf seemed to have found a bottom. From Asia, despite limited demand from SE Asia, the market was supported with better demand from the NoPac and a limited supply of fresh tonnage rates remained fairly healthy. Period cover was actively short, with a 58,000-dwt open China rumoured fixed in the mid $14,000s for one year. Whilst a 61,000-dwt also open China was fixed for five/seven months trading at $15,500. From the Atlantic, a 63,000-dwt was heard fixed delivery Santos for a trip to Chittagong at $18,000 plus $800,000 ballast bonus and a 61,000-dwt also fixed from Santos to SE Asia at $17,250 plus $725,000 ballast bonus. In Asia, a 58,000-dwt open North China was fixed for an Australian round redelivery Japan at $11,000 and a 55,000-dwt also open North China fixed a trip via Indonesia redelivery China at $9,000. Activity remained in the Indian Ocean, a 58,000-dwt fixing delivery Kandla trip via Arabian Gulf redelivery WC India at $14,000.
The Atlantic showed continued signs of positivity. On the Continent a 38,000-dwt open in Amsterdam via the UK to Morocco with an intended cargo of coal at $16,000 whilst a 37,000-dwt was rumored to have been fixed basis delivery passing Skaw via the Baltic to Bangladesh with an intended cargo of fertilizer with redelivery in South Africa at $19,250. Earlier in the week an ice classed 30,000-dwt fixed from Algeria via Kotka to EC South America at $10,000. In contrast, the US Gulf was said to have limited cargo enquiry and sentiment remained negative for now with a 34,000-dwt fixing from SW Pass with an early February laycan to EC Mexico at $13,000. In Asia, Charterer's appetite for period tonnage remained with a 32,000-dwt opening in South China was fixed for a 12 month period at $10,250, whilst a 32,000-dwt opening in early March was fixed for five months at $11,000 but further details were unknown on both.