The Capesize market appeared to get caught up in the wider market rallies this week as geopolitical tensions run high, with the 5TC lifting $8635 over the week to settle at $22,195. Tailwinds surely helped push the market higher but plenty of physical activity  supported the rising rates. Fresh demand in Europe for alternative energy sources other than gas was answered by coal suppliers. Sources from as far afield as Eastern Australia sprang into life.  The backhaul index C16 rose from $425 per day to $14,550 an increase of  $14125 in five days! The Atlantic basin was not left out of the action with a mix of coal and iron ore cargos that had owners raising their rates. The transatlantic C8 rose $8625 week on week to $23,050. The transpacific round voyage, C10, closed the week $19,633 up $6,625. Bunkers continue to play havoc with voyage rates and are now responsible for a larger share of operating costs. The market remains very active and prone to surges of volatility while being very much linked to political activity amongst a rapidly changing market landscape.


A thriving Panamax market overall and a fervent FFA market lent support to period and numerous deals were concluded. An 81,000-dwt delivery India agreeing $31,750 for one year’s trading. The market in Asia got a head of steam midweek but this eased by end of the week as markets cooled. Primarily it was an Indonesia-centric market, but heightened demand from NoPac gave support with some firm rates agreed. A new build 82,000-dwt delivery Japan achieving $35,000 for a NoPac round trip the highlight. In the Atlantic, EC South America returned a two-tier market on the week. End of March ballasters from the Pacific were heavily discounted to index dates as they competed with Mediterranean tonnage diverting away from the Black Sea.  Vessel in the Mediterranean conceded APS rates for EC South America round trips redelivery Continent-Mediterranean. An 82,000-dwt achieving $42,500 for a trip via US east coast redelivery Continent. This resulted in the North Atlantic remain underwhelming on the week.


As the war in Ukraine entered its third week, the Atlantic was seemingly finding its feet. Owners remained reluctant to trade towards the East Mediterranean and expected a premium for such runs. From East coast South America, a 53,000-dwt was heard fixed for a trip to Haifa in the upper $30,000s.  For voyages from the Mediterranean it was the reverse. A 58,000-dwt fixing a trip delivery Canakkale to Houston with cement at $15,750. It was overall a strong week from Asia, the continued lack of prompt tonnage and strong backhaul demand resulted in some impressive rates being reported. A 56,000-dwt fixing delivery Indonesia redelivery China at $51,000. That said, as the weekend approached some brokers commented there was a slowing in pace. Period activity remained as a 56,000-dwt open Mombasa mid-March was fixed for five to seven months trading at $35,000. BSI did continue its upward push, rising 353 points week on week and the 10 TC weighted average finishing at $32,330.   


The BHSI continues to make gains. In Asia, brokers spoke of pressure remaining on Charterers in both the container and dry bulk markets. A 37,000-dwt fixed from Japan to the Mediterranean at $60,000. A 37,000-dwt open in Panjin 9-13 March fixed a trip to Chittagong at $38,000. In East Coast India, a 40,000-dwt open 17-21 March fixed a trip to Safaga at $54,750. A 34,000-dwt open in China 18 March fixed for two to three laden legs redelivery Singapore-Japan range at $38,000. The Atlantic rallied this week, brokers spoke of stems, which had been due to load in the Black Sea, moving to other loading regions including the US Gulf,. A 38,000-dwt was fixed from Savanah to the Continent at $21,000. A 37,000-dwt fixed from Punta Rincon to China with a intended cargo of Copper Concentrates in the low $20,000s.