As the week commenced in the Pacific, it became apparent that there was a notable level of enquiry, defying the usual subdued nature of Mondays. The majors from West Australia to China have been present in the market throughout the week. However, the market has not been immune to the impact of the increasing tonnage supply as noted by brokers. This began to exert downward pressure on rates at the beginning of the week and the market struggled to gain any momentum. Nevertheless, by the middle of the week market conditions managed to sustain a relatively stable state. As the week approaches its conclusion, a significant number of vessels have been fixed from West Australia to China. As a result, the Pacific has seemingly found a floor. The Atlantic however, has experienced a lack of notable activity and general enquiry this week, with brokers noting earlier in the week more competitive rates being offered, particularly on the Tubarao to Qingdao route. Concurrently, the bid has also retracted, resulting in downward pressure. However, as the week approaches its end, brokers observed a modest improvement in the Atlantic market overall. All in all, the week has ended on a slightly more positive note.



The Panamax market began the week in a slow and depressive state. Despite the North Atlantic offering reasonable fresh demand, this made insignificant impact to rates with owners keen to take quick cover, discouraging any hope of any rate revival. Notwithstanding this, the north did show some signs of a floor by mid-week as tonnage count tightened and rates on specific trades for now would appear to have bottomed, with an 80,000-dwt delivery Gibraltar agreeing $6,750 for a grain trans-Atlantic round via NC South America. Asia returned a further underwhelming week with limited demand, and with the EC South America market offering little solace rates continued to slide. The south of the region saw a steady flow of Indonesia enquiry, however both NoPac and Australia disappointed again and proved to be the catalyst for further corrections in the market, with reports of an 81,000-dwt delivery Japan fixing at $8,500 for a trip via EC Australia redelivery Japan.



Overall, a poor week for the sector dominated by a strong supply of prompt tonnage and limited fresh enquiry. As the week ended the US Gulf bucked the trend of strong numbers being discussed as a light and more optimistic outlook appeared. Other areas in the basin lacked fresh impetus, once again putting downward pressure on rates. From the Pacific, a similar story as charterers remained in charge and able to cherry pick tonnage. Having said that, some did describe it a fairly positional. Period activity bubbled along, with a 63,000-dwt open SE Asia 8/10 July for one year’s trading in the $13,000s. From the Atlantic, a 57,000-dwt was heard to have been fixed from North Brazil to US Gulf in the low $12,000s. Whilst another 57,000-dwt fixed delivery US Gulf for a trip to the East Mediterranean at $9,750. From Asia, a 63,000-dwt open South China fixed an Australian round with silica sand at $12,000. For Indonesian business a 53,000-dwt fixed a trip delivery Xiamen via Indonesia redelivery China in the mid $5,000s. From the Indian Ocean, a 61,000-dwt was heard to have fixed a trip delivery South Africa redelivery Japan at $14,500 plus $145,000 ballast bonus.



The issues with a lack of fresh enquiry and general activity across both basins continued this week and the handy sector’s negative sentiment remained.  East Coast South America numbers continued to soften with a 36,000-dwt fixing from Rosario to Denmark at a rate between $11,500 to $12,000 whilst a 34,000-dwt also opening in Rosario was fixed to the US Gulf with an intended cargo of petcoke at $13,000. A 35,000-dwt was rumoured to have fixed from SW Pass to Turkey at $7,000. A 38,000-dwt fixed from Bremen to the US East Coast at $9,500. In Asia, a 37,000-dwt opening in Japan fixed a trip via Australia back to Japan at $8,750 and a 35,000-dwt fixed from Japan to Southeast Asia in the low $6,000s and a 32,000-dwt fixed from Singapore to North China in the $7,000s. Period was said to still be active and a 28,000-dwt opening in Japan was fixed for three to five months at $8,500.