The Capesize market had little cheer this week as rates subsided throughout the week, albeit on the back of reasonable fixing activity. The Capesize 5TC now stands at $9,305 - a decrease of 3502 week on week. The Atlantic region, particularly in the North, was showing some signs of resilience and positive sentiment early on in the week. This didn’t hold as rate levels declined towards the weekend with the Transatlantic C8 now trading at $13,022 to the Transpacific C10 at $7,918. West Australian miners were active throughout the week taking a good number of vessels in the spot market. Yet the fact that the C5 continues to drop is a telling sign of the health of the market. While there are expectations and reports of stimulus from China to help revive its economy, little signs of life have trickled down to the freight market. Without any such stimulus, it looks like an increasingly dire prospect ahead in the short term for the Cape market.

Week on week the Panamax market witnessed only minor corrections. However, we end the week on a clear negative tone. Despite potential positive news for the market with the extension of Ukraine grain exports, tonnage count grew in the Continent and Mediterranean regions. This brought with it softer levels, as demand for Transatlantic trips offer minimal returns. Activity ex EC South America was fluid in the first half of thr week with some 10-20 December arrival fixtures concluded, but this tailed off as the weekend approached. A disappointing week in Asia with rates declining well in excess of $1,000 for the longer rounds via NoPac and Australia, whilst fixing ex Indonesia saw even more spectacular falls. Rates are now discounted heavily by the smaller and mature tonnage. $8,000 was agreed on a 76,000-dwt with bids well below this now. There was limited period activity but reports emerged of an 82,000-dwt delivery China achieving a shade below $16,000 for one-year period.

Brokers said it was an unexciting week as the Atlantic remained rather positional. The only strengthening was seen from the US Gulf, but mainly for trips to the Far East whilst Transatlantic runs did not offer such premiums. As the week closed positive sentiment was being seen from the East Mediterranean due to the extension of the grain corridor. Asia saw a steady stream of fresh enquiry from the south, but rates remained relatively flat as prompt tonnage availability remained strong. Further north it was a mixed week with little enquiry. Period activity was limited but a 60,000-dwt open Continent was fixed for 10-12 months trading at $14,000. From the Atlantic, a 56,000-dwt was heard fixed delivery US Gulf for a trip to West Coast India at $29,000. Elsewhere a 57,000-dwt fixed a trip delivery Spain redelivery West Africa at $18,000. From Asia, a 63,500-dwt open Singapore fixed a trip via Indonesia to Thailand at $10,500. A similar size open South China fixed a trip via Indonesia redelivery China at $8,000.

A very subdued week, certainly within the Atlantic. Brokers said limited fresh enquiry was seen in many areas and downward pressure generally remained across the board. Period activity was muted, but a small handy 16,000-dwt open Vietnam was heard fixed for three to five months trading at $10,000. From the Atlantic, a 34,000-dwt fixed delivery Lower Baltic trip with grain to Morocco in the low $14,000s. From the Mediterranean a 32,000-dwt open Italy was heard fixed for a trip to the Baltic at around $16,000. From across the pond, a 34,000-dwt fixed delivery Recalada trip with grains redelivery West Coast South America at $29,000. Asia similarly was unexciting, although mixed views appeared with some seeing a tightening of tonnage from the north. A 32,000-dwt open Penang was fixed for two-laden legs redelivery Singapore-Japan at $10,000. Whilst another 32,000-dwt open South Korea was fixed at around $10,000 for West Coast South America direction.