Dry Bulk Market: Capesizes Stalled After a Strong Start to the Week

After a week of bounce momentum the market appears to have stalled out once again. The Capesize 5TC has more than doubled since last Friday and is now pricing at $4140 on the back of owners baulking at recent unreasonable lows. Atlantic routes, mainly fronthaul (C9) and Brazil to China (C3), have shown surprising resilience lifting in spite of dreadful fundamentals. A small boost of cargo has helped to keep the fronthaul route ticking over settling the week up +495 to $14730. The transatlantic trade has not shown any significant improvement with talk of force majeure now being banded around out of Colombia. Bunkers rates were seen to strengthen significantly this week assisting the bounce, as most routes had little fat left to absorb an increase in costs. The C5, being very sensitive to bunker levels, increased from $3.941 on Friday to a high of $4.782 before being down today to $4.541.

The Atlantic Panamax market this week yielded little joy for owners, despite improved fixing activity during the second half of the week. Pure tonnage count far outweighed demand in the North resulting in easier rates, meanwhile out of South America the market here was slow to get started this week with wide bid/offer spreads. This appeared to level off by mid-week, with better sentiment for second half June arrival dates. Typically, for an 82,000dwt, the mean rate pitched at $11,500+$150,000 ballast bonus. By contrast, in Asia, the market here fared better and started strongly with healthy demand seen particularly from Indonesia and the NoPac. Mineral from Australia joining the party as the week drew to a close, NoPac and Australian rounds regularly featured around the $7,000 mark and with support emanating from ECSA there was an improved – albeit small – amount of optimism in the pacific basin.

Overall a positive week for BSI despite widespread holidays. Period activity came back into the arena with a 63,000-dwt open Philippines fixing at $8,500 for 6-9 months trading. The Atlantic started the week on a sideways trend. But as the week progressed many said a more positive feel was appearing in many areas except from the US Gulf, which lacked fresh enquiry. From the Mediterranean, a 56,000 was fixed delivery Turkey for a grain’s run to China at $12,000. The Indian Ocean remained firm with strong demand for vessels an Ultramax fixing delivery east coast India for a trip to China at $9,000 plus $150,000 bonus – and a 56,000 covering a trip delivery Singapore via east coast India redelivery China in the low $9,000s. Further east a 63,000 fixed delivery Vietnam trip via Indonesia redelivery Kosichang at $8,500. Whilst a 56,000-dwt fixed delivery Singapore trip via Indonesia to China in the mid-low $7,000s.

The BHSI continued to improve in the positive territory this week. Limited activity reported from the US Gulf, Continent and Mediterranean – but east coast South America showed firming signs throughout the week with tick more cargoes out in the region. There was also talk that all foreign-flagged dry bulk vessels arriving at Recalada pilot station area will have to comply with a 14 day quarantine period. It was not clear how the new restriction would be implemented, but ballasters were certainly discussing higher numbers with the charterers. A 28,000-dwt was fixed from Recalada for a trip to east Mediterranean at $6,000 and a 35,000-dwt open Alexandria 28 May was fixed for a trip to the US Gulf at $4,000 for the first 40 days and $6,000 thereafter. In the east, positive sentiment lended support with the Pacific routes indices further climbing. A 32,000-dwt was fixed from north Vietnam for a clinker trip to China at $4,000.
Source: The Baltic Briefing

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