The Capesize market witnessed an eventful and generally positive week. Early in the week, a subdued start led to cautious attitudes among market participants, with slight declines in the BCI 5TC and C3 index. However, a notable turnaround occurred midweek, as sentiment improved markedly, particularly in the Pacific market. Increased coal demand from East Australia to China and weather conditions impacting operations in China drove a surge in rates. Throughout the week, all three major miners remained active in the Pacific, contributing to upward pressure on rates for both the BCI 5TC and C5 index. Stronger fixtures were reported, with rates reaching as high as $12.10 for C5, a $1.50 increase on the week. Activity in the South Atlantic, particularly from Brazil and West Africa to the Far East, also contributed to the positive momentum, with rates climbing steadily. With a slight tightening of the tonnage list in the Pacific towards the end of the week, sentiment remained buoyant, supported by ongoing demand and firm rates. By the end of the week, the BCI 5TC settled at $23,543, marking a significant improvement from the week's start.
Most of the excitement emanated from the Atlantic again last week. The continued lack of early tonnage in the North had a profound effect on rates, with sound trans Atlantic demand rates lurched forwards with mention of various voyage cargoes fixed at above index timecharter equivalents. $30,000 was rumored fixed for a US East coast to China on 82,000-dwt type delivery this side the headline rate with fronthaul trades from the North Atlantic also increasing, adding further fuel to the fire. The Pacific market rose steadily throughout the week buoyed by the firm sentiment seeping in from Atlantic market. Several vessels fixed for EC South America rounds, again at a premium to Pacific rounds which hovered around the $15,000 mark. Several period fixtures were reported due to an improving outlook and steady increasing paper values, a shade over $20,000 perhaps the highlight for a nicely described 82,000-dwt delivery China for 6 to 8 months trading.
A positive week for the sector with stronger rates being achieved in most areas. The Atlantic saw sustained interest from the US Gulf and healthy demand from the Continent and Mediterranean, whilst the South Atlantic saw reasonable levels of fresh enquiry. A steady supply of Indonesian coal demand helped maintain rates from South Asia, whilst further north brokers spoke of a healthy volume of NoPac and backhaul business. Period cover was short, a 63,000-dwt open North China fixing a short period at $19,250, whilst a 57,000-dwt also open North China fixed 12 months trading at $16,500. In the Atlantic, a 63,000-dwt was heard fixed for a trip from US Gulf to Japan with wood pellets at $26,000. From the Mediterranean, a 53,000-dwt fixed delivery Egypt trip to West Africa at $14,000. In Asia, a 56,000-dwt fixed from SE Asia via Indonesia redelivery South Korea in the low-mid $17,000s. For backhaul enquiry, a 56,000-dwt was heard fixed delivery South China for a trip to West Africa at $12,500 and then a split rate of $15,500 after 65 days.
Positivity returned to the Handysize sector as the week progressed. The US Gulf, saw a reduction in tonnage availability and a 39,000-dwt fixed from SW Pass to North Coast South America with a cargo of grains at a rate between $10,000 and $11,000. Also, a 35,000-dwt fixed from Columbia to the Caribbean with an intended cargo of coal at around $11,000. In the South Atlantic, cargo availability increased, which combined with a reduction in draft in the River Plate added pressure to charterers. A 28,000-dwt was fixed from Recalada via Upriver to Poti with a cargo of grains at $16,000. The Continent and Mediterranean were said to be lacking direction, however a 38,000-dwt who was said to be unable to carry dirty cargo and had limited employment opportunities fixed from Nador to the US Gulf with a cargo of barytes at $11,000. Whilst information from Asia was limited, brokers spoke of more positivity as the cargo-to-tonnage balance changed in the owner's favor.