It was a positive end to the week, with West Australia/China making significant gains and firing owners’ resolve. There was talk that one of the majors paid $7.00 for 7-9 December cargo on Friday, with rates gaining 85 cents in a few hours. Timecharter activity so far remained negligible, but rates are assessed now at five figures. Brazil/China trading was spasmodic, but rates fixed were over $15.00. However, brokers said some bids were up today and owners also increased their rate ideas with the bid-offer gap widening significantly. Further north, there was some fronthaul business from St. Lawrence to China and voyage rates had been hovering in the upper teens, with timecharter rates in the very low $20,000s. Those numbers were again expected to move to at least $1,000 or so. Transatlantic trading was slow, but a Puerto Bolivar/Rotterdam cargo went on a 2007 built vessel from Gibraltar at $13,000 daily, reportedly equating to $8.25. Sources also suggested more cargo was evident in the market, lending some support.
It seemed a new level of support from South America was found last week, after rates had tumbled the previous week. Modern Kamsarmaxes continued to fix at $14,500/$14,750 plus $450,000/$475,000 ballast bonus for trips to the East. Levels in the North Atlantic eased for the very early ships as they sought cover, however, the tonnage profile remained tight, with later ships more bullish. Pacific rates continued to be eroded with short Indonesian trades very prevalent as many decided to buy some time. However, several early ships had been forced to agree aps deliveries. There appeared to be more Panamax types in the market last week, said to be due to a slow-down in Chinese coal demand, and whilst period rates are at a significant premium to spot rates now, there was few trades in evidence.
Despite stronger rates rate being achieved from the US Gulf and East Mediterranean, the week saw overall losses on the BSI, with the Asian market suffering most. There was however limited period activity and a 63,000dwt fixed delivery US Gulf, for a short period redelivery Singapore-Japan, at $18,000.
The Atlantic remained firm from the US Gulf, with a 63,900dwt fixed from here to West Coast Central America at $27,500. Levels remained firm for prompt positions in the Mediterranean and a 57,000dwt was booked for a trip to the US East Coast, via Egypt, in the mid-teens. A 60,500dwt fixed a trip delivery Canakkale via the Black Sea, redelivery Indonesia, at $27,000. Other areas traded sideways brokers said.
The Asian market stalled this week with a build-up of tonnage. Nickel ore shipments were still in evidence, a 56,000dwt fixed delivery CJK trip, via the Philippines, redelivery China. North Pacific business saw a 57,000dwt fixing delivery Ishinomaki with redelivery South East Asia at $10,000.
It was another week of continuous falls in both the Atlantic and Asian basins, with negative sentiment evident in all major trading areas. Brokers suggested most of the cargoes from East Coast South America were for December, and the market had been expected to show some recovery this month. However, brokers have now suggested they anticipate some improvement by year end. Activity slowed down from the US with the Thanksgiving holidays at the end of the week, whilst in the East, there were fewer cargoes and rates also fell further.
A 33,000dwt open Rouen was booked to move wheat to Algeria at $13,250. A 35,000dwt open Tuzla was fixed for a trip with grain, via the Black Sea, to the Egyptian Mediterranean in the mid-high $14,000s. A 37,000dwt agreed $17,000 from the US Gulf for a run to Ireland at $17,000. In the Pacific, a 36,000dwt open North China was fixed for a trip with steel to Vietnam at a rate in the low $7,000s.
Source: The Baltic Briefing
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