After both the Atlantic and Pacific Capesize markets softened a little bit, there were, however, some signs at the end of last week showing for a slightly stronger trend this week, especially within the Pacific, despite Chinese holidays. The market lost almost US$2,000 average on the index time charter routes settling at around mid US$44,000 level at the end of the week but most routes turned positive the last trading day mainly within the Pacific. Apart from some short period and one 168,000dwt 1997 built vessel reported fixed for two years at US$32,000 level, period activity was scarce.
The Panamax market started negatively last week, trading to the downside as charterers negative influence added weight to the drop. The overall loss to the BPI was 296 points and the 4 TC’s lost US$2,655 with many claiming the forthcoming Chinese holidays would suppress the market further. However a flourish of activity late in the week particularly in the Nopac region encouraged a turn in direction on friday seeing the market close the week heading upwards. With the earlier tonnage now cleared out, both Atlantic and Pacific look stable with potential for moderate increases during the week. The full effect of the Chinese holidays remains to be seen but for the time being the market is expected to remain in positive territory this week.
Contrasted situation for the Handymax market in the two basins. The Atlantic has been firm with t/c rates USG/Continent increasing by about US$1,500 within the week, while at the same time Handymax rates were dropping by about US$2,000 for Nopac or Aust r/v. Owners were expecting more activity in the East prior to the Chinese holidays but seems this had been already anticipated and too many vessels were spot/prompt to sustain rates at same level. Meantime there are various opinions as regarding average level for 2006 and some owners interested only to fix their vessels for 1 year or more when some others willing only trips or very short term, waiting for higher rates. This is generating some activity for period charters: for instance a recent 45,000 dwt has been fixed for 1 year at US$18,000 for delivery Atlantic and on short period a Supermax 53,800 dwt has been reported fixed at US$19,250 for 3/5 months for delivey Far East but a lot of private negotiations and very limited number of fixtures have been reported. The modern smaller sizes still enjoying a firm market also in the Pacific and we heard a couple of modern 28,000 dwt have been fixed in the region of US$15,500 for short period.
Source: Barry Rogliano Salles, Shipbrokers, Paris