The Capesize market had a positive opening on Monday followed by consecutive declines on the time charter routes. The Cape5TC fell over $2,000 this week, settling a tick above the $10,000 threshold on Friday. A few period fixtures were reported, including a 171,000-dwt 2013-built vessel open Caofeidian last week fixing for about six to eight months at 85% of the C5TC. A 180,000mt 2006-built open Zhoushan on 1 January was fixed for about four to six months at $10,500 per day and was then relet for loading 170,000mt 10% iron ore from Saldanha Bay in early February to Qingdao at $11.75 per metric ton. The Brazil to Qingdao trade closed the week at $17.708, whilst in the Pacific the west Australia to Qingdao trade was priced between $6.99 to $7.18 throughout the week.
It proved to be another week of further considerable losses for the Panamax market, retracting back to values witnessed in August 2022. With countless ballasting and spot tonnage unfixed, resistance from owners was scarce as tonnage far outweighed demand. This resulted in charterers driving down bids - especially in the North Atlantic region. Here rates reduced close to $3,000 week-on-week on route P1A with little sign of abating. Several East Coast South America trips to Singapore-Japan reported fixed for first half February arrival dates with slightly better bids seen on Thursday, but this looked short lived for now. Asia fared no better despite reasonable Indonesian coal demand and a fair level of Australia coal enquiry. With seemingly strong confidence for the rest of 2023, relatively solid period interest again with rates still at a premium to spot. Several deals concluded including an 82,000-dwt delivery China achieving $16,500 for 12 months employment.
The malaise continued across the board with limited fresh enquiry in most regions combined with an abundance of prompt tonnage keeping downward pressure on rates. Some brokers commented that with the Lunar New Year festivities coming at the end of next week this trend was set to continue. Limited period activity surfaced as Charterers sort opportunities; a 61,000-dwt open West Africa was heard fixed for six to nine months worldwide trading at $13,000. Also, an Ultramax open in China was heard to have failed at $12,000 for four to six months trading. In the Atlantic, pressure remained from the US Gulf and a 58,000-dwt fixed a trip to Italy with petcoke at $12,750. From the Continent-Mediterranean it was a similar story despite a steady flow of cargo. A 57,000-dwt fixed from East Mediterranean to West Africa at $10,000. Little joy from Asia and a 58,000-dwt open North China was heard fixed at $3,500 for a trip to the Arabian Gulf. Further south, there was limited enquiry from Indonesia and a 57,000-dwt open Hong Kong fixed a trip via Indonesia to South China at $3,750.
With limited enquiry across all regions, we have seen the erosion of rates continue. In East Cost South America, pressure remained from the larger sizes and a 38,000-dwt fixed from Rio De Janeiro to Japan at $15,000. A 35,000-dwt fixed delivery Recalada to the Continent at $11,500 and a 34,000-dwt fixed from Morocco via Paramaribo to India at $9,700. In the Mediterranean, a 36,000-dwt fixed basis delivery passing Canakkale via the Black Sea with redelivery in Algeria and an intended cargo of grains at $8,000. In the US Gulf, a 38,000-dwt fixed from Jamaica to Iceland with an intended cargo of Alumina at $14,000. Tonnage in South East Asia has seen levels soften with a 38,000-dwt fixing from Singapore via Western Australia to Japan with an intended cargo of grains at $8,000. Meanwhile, a 40,000-dwt logger type was rumoured to have been fixed for two laden Legs from Samalaju at $12,750.