Dry Bulk Market: Evolving Market Conditions Impact the Capesize Segment


This week the cape market has been marked by varying levels of activity and changing sentiments. At the beginning of the week, the Pacific market showed promise for owners, with support from East Coast Australia coal cargo contributing to a positive outlook and two major players driving momentum, from West Australia to China, resulting in a modest uptick in rates. Midweek, both the Pacific and Atlantic regions saw active engagement, leading to rate increases, particularly in C5 and the North Atlantic, due to tighter availability contributing to positive fixtures. However, towards the end of the week, the Pacific market experienced a dip in rates and activity, with a negative influence from the FFA market. In the Atlantic, there was a noticeable shift in sentiment, with charterers reducing bids, potentially driven by owners seeking coverage before upcoming holidays, encompassing Mid-Autumn Festival and Golden Week. Overall, it has been a week of mixed dynamics and evolving market conditions.


A mixed week for the Panamax sizes, the Atlantic generally well supported in the north whilst from South America it returned overall an underwhelming week by comparison. Solid levels of mineral demand were duly backed up by some fresh US Gulf stems on the fronthaul runs, rates for trans-Atlantic peaked at $19,500 midweek and appeared to taper away as the weekend approached, but with a tight tonnage count, the general feeling was much of the same for next. It was a lethargic Pacific market, perhaps due to anticipation of impending golden week holidays. A scrubber fitted 82,000-dwt conceding low $15,000’s midweek for a NoPac trip, but this represented a one off with levels of $13,000 more akin to true market value. Indonesia coal demand diminished week on week with smaller/older types discounting rates to cover prior to Asian holidays. Period news included an 82,000-dwt type delivery Korea achieving $13,500 basis 8/10 months.


Negative sentiment crept into the Atlantic, with declining levels of cargo availability and a general slowing of activity across both basins. In the South Atlantic a 58,000-dwt fixed from Santos to South East Asia at $15,750 plus a $575,000 ballast bonus whilst a 61,000-dwt fixed from North Brazil to West Coast Central America at $26,000 to a grain house. The US Gulf was said to have lost momentum after a bright start, where a 63,000-dwt fixed from SW Pass to Arabian Gulf-India range at over $30,000 whilst later in the week similar vessels were being bid in the upper $20,000’s. Asia saw activity slow as many took early cover with a 58,000-dwt fixing from North China for a round trip via the Philippines at $16,000 whilst a 58,000-dwt opening In Thailand fixed via Indonesia to Cambodia at $14,500. Period interest had remained active, with a 63,000-dwt fixing for a minimum of 100 days to about five months at $17,000.


A mixed week across the handy sector which lost momentum as activity slowed after a bright start. The South Atlantic was still experiencing a lack of cargo availability and numbers continued to soften with a 36,000-dwt fixing from Santos to Morocco at $12,250, whilst a 30,000-dwt opening in Luanda fixed via Abidjan to China in the low teens. In the US Gulf, a 38,000-dwt fixed from the Mississippi to NC South America at $16,000. The Mediterranean also saw activity slow and a 35,000-dwt opening in Gabes was fixed basis passing Canakkale for a trip to the US Gulf at $15,500. On the Continent, a 39,000-dwt fixed from Rotterdam to WC South America with an intended cargo of fertiliser at $19,000. With upcoming holidays in China, the Asia markets also slowed. A 38,000-dwt opening in Xiamen fixed a trip via Australia to China at $12,000 and a 32,000-dwt fixing from Taiwan via Indonesia to the Philippines at under $9,000.
Source: Baltic Exchange

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