The Capesize market had a positive opening on Monday, followed by consecutive declines in time charter routes. Cape5TC fell over $2,000 this week, rising just above the $10,000 mark on Friday. Several terms have been reported, including the 171,000 dwt 2013 vessel Caofeidian opened last week, which has fixed around six to eight months at 85% C5TC. The 2006-built 180,000 mt Zhoushan opencast on January 1 was fixed for approximately four to six months at $10,500 a day, then released to load 170,000 mt 10% iron ore from Saldanha Bay in early February to Qingdao at $11.75 dollars per meter. Trade between Brazil and Qingdao ended the week at $17,708, while in the Pacific, trade between Western Australia and Qingdao was priced between $6.99 and $7.18 throughout the week.
It proved to be another week of further significant losses for the Panamax market, retreating back to values seen in August 2022. With countless ballasting and unrepaired tonnage in place, there was little resistance from owners as tonnage far outstripped demand. This has caused charterers to reduce their offers – especially in the North Atlantic region. Here, rates are down close to $3,000 week-on-week on the P1A route with little sign of abatement. Several East Coast South America Singapore-Japan voyages reported firm arrival dates for the first half of February, with slightly better deals on Thursday, but this looked short for now. Asia fared no better despite reasonable coal demand in Indonesia and a fair level of Australian coal enquiries. With seemingly strong confidence until the end of 2023, again relatively solid interest in a period with rates still at a higher rate. Several deals were closed, including an 82,000 twt shipment to China, which achieved $16,500 in 12 months of employment.
Weakness continued across the board with limited new inquiries in most regions combined with plenty of fast tonnage keeping downward pressure on rates. Some brokers commented that with the Lunar New Year celebration coming up at the end of next week, this trend continues. Limited period activity has emerged as charterers sort through opportunities; the 61,000 dwt West Africa open was heard to be fixed six to nine months worldwide at $13,000. Also, the Ultramax open in China was heard to have crashed to $12,000 in four to six months of trading. In the Atlantic, pressure from the US Gulf remained and 58,000 dwt set a voyage to Italy with oil at $12,750. From the continent-Mediterranean it was a similar story despite the constant flow of cargo. 57,000 dwt fixed from the Eastern Mediterranean to West Africa at $10,000. Little cheer from Asia and open northern China of 58,000 dwt was heard for $3,500 for a trip to the Arabian Gulf. Further south, there was limited question from Indonesia, with a Hong Kong open of 57,000 dwt set a voyage via Indonesia to South China at $3,750.
With limited investigation across all regions, we have seen rate erosion continue. In eastern South America pressure remained from larger sizes and 38,000 dwt from Rio De Janeiro to Japan fixed at $15,000. Recalada of 35,000 dwt fixed delivery to the continent at $11,500 and 34,000 dwt fixed delivery from Morocco via Paramaribo to India at $9,700. In the Mediterranean, a fixed delivery of 36,000 dwt passing through Canakkale via the Black Sea with a redelivery in Algeria and an estimated grain cargo of $8,000. In the US Gulf, a 38,000-dwt fixed from Jamaica to Iceland with an estimated cargo of alumina at $14,000. Southeast Asian tonnage eased levels with a firm of 38,000 dwt from Singapore via Western Australia to Japan with a planned grain cargo at $8,000. Meanwhile, a 40,000 dwt logging type was rumored to have been repaired for two loaded Legos from Samalaju at a cost of $12,750.
Source: Baltic Stock Exchange