Atlantic Supramax freight costs hit 17-month lows Monday as an oversupply of vessels along the US Gulf and East Coasts forced shipowners to compete fiercely on price for available cargoes.
S&P Global Platts’ cFlow software reported 46 unladen Supramax vessels in the US Gulf and a further 16 along the East Coast, while sources reported that the number of spot Handysize vessels available for prompt cargoes was upward of 80 across the same regions.
In the market, XO Shipping was heard to have fixed the MV Milan, a 2018-built Ultramax vessel, from the US Gulf to the East Mediterranean with a petcoke cargo at $6,000/d APS basis. Similar fixtures in mid-December commanded time charter rates of around $25,000/day. The S&P Global Platts New Orleans to Iskenderun, 50,000 mt petcoke route was assessed down 25 cents Monday to $14/mt — its lowest rate since October 2016.
Market sentiment was despondent. “It’s difficult, and we’re likely to see shipowners and operators face bankruptcy this year if it continues,” a ship operator source said. “It’s extraordinarily difficult to make money in this market, no matter how you spread your risk.”
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