06-06-2016

Dry bulk FFA market: Charterers make hay even when the sun don’t shine

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Not a vintage week – the holidays did not help – but with much of the industry already knee-deep in Greek wine, that seems unlikely to change much.

There are plenty of shipowners for whom little change might just be the agreeable trend of the summer because with this many ships even a brighter cargo picture is keeping them on the back foot

Freight rates for capesizes on key Asian routes are likely to hold around current levels or move slightly higher next week on better cargo volumes with support from a raft of off-market charters. That mixed picture is playing out on the paper market too and this week failed to demonstrate an encouraging trend.

Despite plenty of activity in the physical market, rates moved little on paper which as a consequence remained in a very tight range and the suspicion is that the off-market fixing was making paper jittery and harder to price.

After a number of directional changes in a relatively tight range Cape paper ended Thursday, for the most part, up on the day. Reports of Tubarao/Qingdao fixing at $9.00 helped keep prompt periods well bid as the afternoon drew to a close with anticipation of further gains on Friday’s indices.

Panamaxes saw fronthaul and T/A levels easier and with limited Pacific activity, the market sold off across the curve. Prompt contracts came under most pressure with June and Q3 sold off in decent volume while buyers scaled back their ideas.

The market opened weaker again on Thursday before finding a level post index with limited trading and the curve finding some renewed support at the close. But with the physical outlook still cautious we could see this closing support tested again before week’s end.

And supramaxes? Would you surprised to hear Thursday was a flat and uneventful day with rates static on June and Q4. A slightly negative index failed to spark the afternoon into any action. Of course you would not.

Source: Freight Investor Services (FIS)

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