The Capesize market reached new highs for the year this week, topping out at $34,896 on the 5TC. The quick ascension to these lofty heights has been met with an equivalent descent since Wednesday as the market shed value down to $29,479 by weeks end. Fixture activity has been sparse on the descent as charterers backed away and owners looked not to encourage further drops. The usual constant Pacific flow has ticked over, providing some firm insight into the market with the West Australia to China C5 route down Friday -0.496 to settle at $9.709. The recent large spread of the premium Transatlantic C8 over the Transpacific C10 opened the week at a whopping +$11,255 but has now contracted to +$5830. The Capesize market was short of typical participants this week as China took holidays. While China was back today, Korea took leave. With all the market back next week the fixture activity will surely increase providing more clarity on this Q4 market.
The week evolved with the Panamax market gaining $56 on the week to return at $1439 The Atlantic market proved to be the biggest benefactor with the largest route movements as the north Continent tonnage count proved to be tight for most of the week and with solid demand of minerals and grains from the Baltic as well as US east coast. Rates duly rallied with $13,150 being agreed on an 82,000-dwt for a US east coast round basis delivery Gibraltar. Elsewhere in the Atlantic, rates from South America nudged up. It was predominantly sentiment driven with talk of Cape Split cargoes carrying over into the market from last week, but by mid-week this interest appeared to have fizzled out. However, ample November grain stems continued to keep the market active. Holidays in China curtailed activity this week in Asia. But a robust NoPac market kept rates steady on the week with figures hovering around the low $12,000’s levels for 82,000-dwt delivery China.
With the Chinese holiday during much of the week, the Asian market remained rather subdued. Meanwhile, the Atlantic areas – such as the Continent – made gains with higher levels of enquiry. Period activity was limited but a 63,000-dwt open China was fixed for a short period at $11,000. From the Atlantic, the Continent and west Mediterranean led the way. A 55,000-dwt fixing delivery Morocco trip via Continent redelivery east Mediterranean in the mid teens. Better activity was seen mid week from the US Gulf, a 63,000-dwt fixing a trans Atlantic run in the $17,000s. East coast south America remained subdued, with limited fresh enquiry and Ultramax size seeing mid teens for transatlantic business. Whilst Asia lacked impetus, the Indian Ocean saw increased activity. A 61,000-dwt fixing delivery South Africa for a trip to east coast India at $13,500, plus $350,000 ballast bonus. A 63,000-dwt also fixed delivery South Africa for a trip to China at $13,000 plus £$300,000 ballast bonus. All eyes on the up coming week to see what will happen further east.
At the start of the week, both the BHSI and the time charter average declined for the first time since September. However, they recovered back to the positive territory in the second half of the week with the support from the US Gulf and Continent, despite east coast South America moving sharply lower. Meanwhile, the activity level remained low in the Pacific with China yet returning from the Golden Week holiday. From east coast South America, a 35,000-dwt was fixed from Santos for a trip to Morocco at $9,000. A 36,000-dwt open Pori was fixed for a trip via Baltic to the Continent at $18,000 and a 38,000-dwt open Esbjerg was fixed for a trip to Sea of Marmara with scrap cargoes at $18,000. From the US Gulf, a 39,000-dwt was fixed for a trip to UK Continent with pellets at $15,500.