Some differing trends noted in early October

Some differing trends noted in early October
Published: 10 October 2006

Some volatility in the markets this week with the different segments showing some differing trends. It seems that forward positions taken on derivatives are partly  involved in this upward movement in the Panamax market, which doesn¹t seem to be shaped by any strong physical trend.

To know whether this is an early signal of an overall rebound of the market is a bit premature. Last Thursday the International Grains Council published it¹s monthly market report in which they forecast another rise in grain trade for the 2006/07 season to 218Mt, against 217Mt one month ago. Wheat remains stable compared  to last month but will supply 4Mt more to the shipping market than during the previous season at 112Mt.

Progression is more modest for maize, for which the IGC forecast 80Mt against 79Mt in 05/06. Large cuts in the Australian crop forecast boost the market along with poor harvest in South America (Brazil & Argentina) due to a lack of rain, while European & Black Sea supplies are suffering from quality problems. So this 2006/07 grain season could be marked by some supply bottlenecks while demand remains stronger.

 A slowdown of activity for Panamax tonnage has been noticed last week especially for periods after weeks of strong speculations. It’s been only 3 deals done for 1 year period reported at around US $30,000/d and nothing longer. Market seems to be on its way to stabilization and operators are now preferring shorter coverage on physical.

Atlantic spot market gained a bit last week thanks to few fronthauls after an impressive drop, but still has difficulties to take off. In this context, charterers with backhaul cargoes Dry Bulk Carriers Orderbook may probably have to pay for a premium to attract owners. The Pacific basin on the other hand looked wealthier last week with more cargoes to move and awaiting for Indian exports to come as soon as the rains stop.

Last week has seen HandyMax rates easing in all areas. Continent has been seen very tight on tonnage, while the Med was clearly building up tonnage for first half October. ECSA has been stable with all the usual grain, sugar and steel cargoes on the market. Period activity has been low but rate still firm. MV ŒDelvina¹ - built 2006 - 53,000dwt, was fixed and reported for 26-29 months at US$24,750 dely ex-yard Nov/Dec 2006.

Requirement from Far East to West Africa for Supramax have been covered at around US$32,000. Handysize dely US Gulf or ECSA with redely Continent were fixed in the region of US$25,000.

In the MEG and WC India, owners of Supramax are now getting in the mid twenties for business to China via India and big units going spot on EC India get closer to the mid twenties mark for trips to China or Indonesia rounds.

Source: Barry Rogliano Salles, Shipbrokers, Paris