The Capesize market was unable to carry the rally from last week as rates were seen to dip sharply this week with the 5TC down 4901 to $19,875. Trade activity throughout the week came in fits and starts with the market struggling to settle. While activity in the Pacific was moderate and the Atlantic was heard to be tightening on tonnage, the financial market was seemingly unconvinced by what it saw, which led forward months derivatives to be sold down. This placed substantial downward pressure on the physical bid offers. The Transpacific C10 - and the currently premium paying region Transatlantic C8 - settled the week at $15,977 and $24,444 respectively. The ballaster routes had a higher number of vessels to choose from this week putting pressure on the C3 and C17 which settled at $29.911 and $21.933. The market tried and failed to break out of its current range. A floor at approximately $20,000 and a ceiling at $25,000 has the Cape market indecisive and muddled looking for solid direction.


A steady opening this week for the Panamax market, but it tapered off as weaker rates and negative sentiment encompassed the market. The Atlantic initially saw tight-tonnage count in the North pitted against reasonable levels of grain demand ex EC South America for both Transatlantic and front haul trips. This helped to keep levels well supported and was typified by an 82,000-dwt delivery Gibraltar achieving $25,000 for a trip via NC South America redelivery Skaw-Barcelona range. However, rates did subsequently weaken. Asia was contrasting between the north and south, primarily led by solid levels of coal enquiry ex Indonesia both destined for China and India. And, whilst a vast majority of these deals were concluded on smaller/overaged tonnage at discounted levels, rates elsewhere remained mostly steady but eased as the weekend approached. Limited period activity, reports emerged of an 85,000-dwt delivery Japan agreeing to $27,500 for six to nine months worldwide trading.


After a busy period in South East Asia, where a 58,000-dwt fixed from Taiwan via Indonesia to China at $27,000 and a 63,000-dwt was fixed for a trip from Xiamen via Indonesia to West Coast India at $36,750, sentiment softened as Charterers reassessed the markets later in the week. Activity has been limited in the US Gulf with a 63,000-dwt fixing for a trip from SW Pass to UK-Continent range with an intended cargo of wood pellets at $23,500. A 63,000-dwt was rumoured to have fixed earlier in the week a trip from West Africa via East Coast South America to Singapore-Japan range at $32,000. A 62,000-dwt open in Turkey was rumoured to have been placed on subjects for a trip to West Africa with an intended cargo of Clinker at around $26,000.  A 63,000-dwt open in CJK fixed for two laden legs at $37,250 with a scrubber for Charterers benefit.


East Coast South America enjoyed a renaissance this week with levels improving due to more enquiry with a 39,000-dwt fixing from Recalada to Egypt at $32,000. Numbers in the US Gulf continued to fall most of the week with a 34,000-dwt rumoured to have fixed for a trip from SW Pass to Israel at $19,000. The Continent and Mediterranean markets softened due to lack of enquiry with a 33,000-dwt fixing from Spain to the US Gulf with bulk cement at $14,500 and a 34,000-dwt fixing from Morocco to East Coast South America at $12,750.  Levels in Asia softened slightly due to lack of enquiry in most regions with a 32,000-dwt open in South China fixing a trip to Singapore at $20,000. Period enquiry was said to have been slower but a 38,000-dwt open in North Coast South America was rumoured to have fixed three to five months with worldwide redelivery in the high $20,000s.