As the holiday season approaches...

As the holiday season approaches...
Published: 21 December 2005

The dry bulk market seems to be steadying in this end-of-year period. In these rather still waters and approaching the end of the year it’s a good time to make a point on the fleet evolution. The delivery side offers a colourful picture with, so far this year, no less than 234 bulkers over 40,000 dwt delivered for a total of 20.6 million dwt, including 57 Capes, 82 Panamaxes and 94 Handymaxes. Another 58 ships are still scheduled to be delivered before the end of this year but we already know that some of them (particularly among the 38 Handymaxes) will be delayed to 2006. Excluding these late deliveries, next year will see an impressive 310 dry bulk carriers to be progressively committed (respectively 71 Capes, 89 Panamaxes and 96 Handymaxes). Next year will also see a new trend in the fleet with the delivery of at least 47 ships in the tonnage range of 80,000 to 100,000 dwt with either Panamax or Cape beams optimised to serve some industrial clients or specific trade routes.

Whilst there were still plenty of early Panamax vessels open in the Atlantic, some fresh IWL orders emerged, leading to positional tightness. However the situation in the Pacific was quite the opposite. With most of the prompt orders being covered, charterers with the second half of January stepped away and the building Panamax tonnage tipped the Pacific market into decline closing down US$924 on Friday, with the backhaul and fronthaul routes also losing steam. The market remains quiet and with the run up to Christmas building speed it’s difficult to tell where it will go in the next week.

We are entering the last ten days of December and the Handymax market is weakening steadily after the last signs of strength at the beginning of the month when charterers needed to secure their freight for the year end. The BHMI went down by about 150 points going from US$17,843/day to US$17,046/day affecting all routes. Modern Supramax grabbers in the Indian Ocean are getting in the high to very high teens for trips to Far East and about the same for trips Back to India. In the Atlantic, little activity with Handymax seen fixed out of west Africa with redelivery Continent in the mid to high teens; trips Atlantic to Far East for large units being fixed in the low twenties.
Source: Barry Rogliano Salles, Shipbrokers, Paris