While things are stabilizing on most dry bulk market after the quite sharp fall recorded over the last two weeks, the whole dry bulk shipping and industrial world is living with the almost daily announcements of historical profit levels. This week Arcelor, Diana, MBC, Precious among others published unprecedented first quarter results… and remain globally optimistic for the whole year 2005. On the downside, some economists already see the start of a melt down of the recent Chinese boom, which could only happen if the whole Chinese financial system cracks. So far we can only say that markets are correcting some excesses on a simple supply/demand relation basis.
Although there were a lot of holidays all over the world last week the first half of the week registered a rally in rates although not that much fixing. The fact that the Chinese were on holiday seemed to restrict tonnage available which seemed to push the Panamax market higher during the second half of the week. All this was with very little active fixing but with an underlying sentiment that the market would fall again this week.
After experiencing a violent and sharp fall in the last weeks, the Handysize/Handymax market had a sort of a rude awakening on Friday, trying to recover. If the coming days are following the same trend, it should be then considered as an upward correction but as a correction only. Beside a poor level of activity, due to the Golden Week, the Pacific was the first to show signs of steadiness. The Atlantic market was also on a slow motion mood and very few significant fixtures were reported. Most of owners/operators were either keen on staying in the Atlantic basin or holding on their position waiting for better days.
Source: Barry Rogliano Salles, Shipbrokers, Paris