Bulk report – Week 43
The Capesize market was in dire straits this week as tonnage levels were heard to be building while many areas had minimal activity as the 5TC dropped -15,398 to $36,065 week on week. The Pacific Basin was under pressure earlier on in the week but did find a floor mid-week, albeit at a significant discount to the Atlantic Basin. The Transpacific C10 ended the week on an upbeat at $32,979, while the Transatlantic C8 struggled the whole week to find a footing coming off -4300 on Friday alone to settle at $41,600. The large disparity between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans made for difficulties throughout the week in pricing the minimal Atlantic business available, which was compounded when combined with the strong backwardation in the paper markets for the remainder of Q4. Trade from Brazil to China lowered severely throughout the week with the ballaster timecharter route C14 dropping to $28,195. While rates have now halved from their highs in early October, levels are still thought to be robust and we are only part way through the Q4 high season.
The week has seen a large drop in rates across all of the routes, which was not helped by a lack of activity in the first half. With new lows, however, there has been an increase in cargo quoted – enough to sustain the present levels at least for now. There has been some resistance shown in the Atlantic and perhaps a floor is being reached with grains in particular fixing at close to last done. However, the short-term outlook remains soft in the Pacific with little cargo from both NoPac grains and Australian coal, combined with a growing tonnage list there could be further drops next week. The BPI opened on Monday at 4,328 and closed the week down by 432 at 3896, and the Panamax 5TC fell by $3891 to $35061. There has been some period activity with the Star Helena (82,150-dwt built 2006) fixed for about nine months at $32,000, the Medi Chiba (81,400-dwt built 2016) fixed for 30 to 34 months at $22,750, and the Panamax, Magic Phoenix (76,638-dwt built 2008), fixed for nine to 12 months at 102pct of the BPI74.
A change of direction for the sector as limited fresh enquiry appeared in the market across many areas leading to increased tonnage availability. Period activity was limited but a 63,000-dwt open China was linked to eight to 10 months trading on an index linked rate basis 114% of BSI 10TC. In the Atlantic, the positive gains from the last few weeks collapsed. A 56,000-dwt fixing delivery SW Pass trip to Southeast Asia in the low $50,000s was seen, whilst for Transatlantic runs Ultramax size was seeing in the mid to upper $40,000s. Elsewhere from the Continent a little more resistance was seen, with a 56,000-dwt fixing a scrap run to the East Mediterranean at $41,000. Similarly, from Asia demand waned. A Supramax open CJK was fixed for an Indonesian round at $21,000 whilst for NoPac rounds a 56,000-dwt open Japan fixed for a trip via US West Coast with redelivery Southeast Asia at $31,000. All eyes on next week to see if this trend will continue.
This week the BHSI made some negative moves with both Atlantic and Pacific basins softening. The softening in Asia was suggested to be due to a lack of fresh enquiry. Congestion in Chinese ports has eased, possibly due to industry scaling back due to the upcoming Winter Olympics. A 39,000-dwt open in North China fixed a trip via CIS to China at $26,000. A 33,000-dwt in CJK fixing a round trip via Australia to China at $28,000. The positivity in the US Gulf region changed, seeing the first negative moves on the HS4 route in some time. A 38,000-dwt open in East Coast Mexico via US Gulf and West Coast Central America with redelivery Cristobal at $40,000. The period has been active with a 33,000-dwt opening Rotterdam fixing minimum four to six months with Atlantic redelivery at $35,000. A 33,000-dwt open in Puerto Plata fixed six to eight months with Atlantic redelivery at $35,000.