The average of the Capesize timecharter routes climbed when the week first began, but soon dropped from over $10,000 threshold to $6,529 on Friday. The steep decline mainly came from the north Atlantic region. The transatlantic and fronthaul trips were settled at $9,083 and $23,031, losing over $5,000 and $7,000 respectively over the week. In the Pacific, the rate did not fluctuate much for the west Australia to Qingdao trade by maintaining above $7 but was lower in the run up to Lunar New Year, however Pacific coal round voyages were offering some support to Owners.  On the period front a 206,000-dwt 2012-built delivery in Tianjin this week was fixed till mid-year 2024 at $17,700. Another 208,000-dwt 2020-built delivery Kaohsiung on 13 January was fixed for 9 to 11 months at $21,500.


Overall, it returned a further week of in the doldrums for the Panamax market, as thin cargo volumes versus a long tonnage count continued to negatively impact the market. A distinct lack of mineral requirements in the North Atlantic undermined the market here, and where there was demand it paid very low levels, suppressed all week by an increasing tonnage count of ballasters and early ships especially in the North Continent. Front haul trips from the Americas fared a little better, highlighted perhaps by reports of an 82,000dwt delivery Gibraltar fixed at $19,000 for a trip via NC South America redelivery Far East. Asia, unsurprisingly, proved to be fairly subdued as the market prepared for Lunar New Year holidays. Already weak and imbalanced in recent weeks, despite relatively decent activity rates here failed to find any support route, with P3A averaging out at around the $7,000 mark throughout the week.


Another subdued week overall for the sector, with sentiment remaining negative in the Atlantic; the South American grain season has yet to start and limited fresh enquiry. A similar situation from North America combined with an abundance of prompt tonnage kept rates in check. A more positive feel from the Asia saw rates increase, although still at relatively low levels. The main driver for the area is the Indonesian coal runs but further north there remained a lack of fresh enquiry both for the NoPac and backhaul runs. Period enquiry weakened, with a 55,000-dwt open China failing at $11,500 for 4-6 months trading. From South America, a 56,000-dwt fixed delivery North Brazil trip to Algeria at $9,000. Elsewhere, a 60,000-dwt fixed from the Baltic to South Africa in the upper $10,000s. From Asia, a 50,000-dwt open Cambodia fixed a trip via Indonesia to China at $6,500. All eyes are now focused on the Year of the Rabbit to see any change in direction.   


A week of further retraction for the BHSI, with limited enquiry and upcoming holidays both factors. However, there were some quiet whispers that positivity may be around the corner in a few regions but as yet we have not seen any gains. East Coast South America saw a 38,000 dwt fixing delivery Santos basis end of January dates for a trip to the Continent-Mediterranean range at $10,000 whilst a 33,000 dwt fixed from Vila Do Conde via Itaqui to Algeria at $9,250. A 34,000 dwt was fixed from the Western Mediterranean to Brazil with an intended cargo of fertilizer at $5,250. A 37,000 dwt fixed-basis delivery Floro for 20 to 30 January at $11,000 for two to three laden legs with worldwide redelivery. In Asia, a 38,000 dwt was fixed from Onsan to South East Asia at $6,000. A 36,000 dwt was fixed basis delivery Ex Yard in Zhoushan to South East Asia at $4,500.