The week started positively for the capes, especially in the Pacific, where rates saw a slight increase. However, Tuesday brought a downturn in the Pacific market, with fixtures dropping significantly by $1.50 from West Australia to China. This drop was attributed to increased competition from older vessels and a pessimistic FFA market. Consequently, the C5 index declined by $1.41 to reach $13.125. This downward trend continued as the week progressed, with more pressure in the Pacific market due to a growing tonnage list and shortage of coal cargoes. The negative FFA market also exerted pressure from South Brazil and West Africa to the Far East, leading Charterers to swiftly lower their bids. Sentiment in the North Atlantic weakened for trans-Atlantic business, although the fronthaul market displayed resilience. A notable fixture was reported from East Coast Canada to the Far East, leading to a $1,813 increase in the C9 index, reaching $58,688. Towards the end of the week, activity picked up in the Atlantic. Brokers reported that a major player had quietly entered the market and fixed a handful of vessels from South Brazil to China for the first half of April. Overall, it's been a turbulent week, with the BCI 5TC shifting direction daily, and ultimately closing down $189 at $33,332.



The Panamax market erupted into life midweek with rates improving as a strong push from both South and North America led the drive. The period market remained robust, and a raft of deals were concluded at stronger levels, notably a new build 82,000-dwt delivery China achieving $21,000 for one year’s employment. In the Atlantic, the week began on a firm note against a tight tonnage count in the North. With both strong mineral and grain-led demand, Charterers scrambled to hit the offers where owners were willing to stand still, $31,500 rumored fixed on an 81,000-dwt delivery North Spain for a trip via NC South America redelivery Far east seemingly the highlight. Midweek witnessed a binge of fixing from EC South America and this in turn gave additional support to the Asia market that, up until that point, had been relatively flat all week with limited with rates nudging up slightly on the week.



A change in direction was during the week as the recent positive momentum seen from Asia was seemingly being eroded with lower fresh enquiry and a slight build-up of prompt tonnage. However, the Atlantic side saw a slightly more positive feel return with more activity. More enquiry was seen from the South Atlantic and sources spoke of a tightening tonnage supply. From the Atlantic, a 61,000-dwt was heard to have fixed a trip from West Africa to China at $28,000. Elsewhere a 63,000-dwt open Ghent fixed a scrap run to the East Mediterranean at $17,000. From Asia, a 56,000-dwt open South China fixed a trip via Indonesia redelivery China in the mid $13,000s. As the week came to close many felt that the Indian Ocean was picking up again, a 56,000-dwt open Arabian Gulf was heard to have fixed a trip to Chittagong in the mid $18,000s.



A general feeling of positivity across the Atlantic saw levels make slow but steady gains, in the South Atlantic a 36,000-dwt in ballast from West Coast South America was rumored to have been placed on subjects for a trip from Recalada to Morocco at $19,000 with further improvements expected for Owners.  In the US Gulf, more activity was seen with a 42,000-dwt rumored to have been fixed from Panama City to the UK-Continent with wood pellets at $11,000 whilst a 38,000-dwt fixed from NC South America to the Continent with an intended cargo of metcoke at $12,000.  More activity was also seen on the Continent with a 40,000-dwt fixing from Rouen to Vera Cruz at $18,000.  In the Mediterranean, a 34,000-dwt fixed from Otranto via the Eastern Mediterranean to the US Gulf at $13,000. Activity in Asia has been muted, however, enquiry levels have been said to show signs of improvement and pockets of positivity have begun to emerge.