Despite the uncertainty some analysts have recently expressed (again) about the course and speed of the Chinese economy - particularly concerning the steel demand, elsewhere the need to ensure the supply of raw materials to Asian clients forced Australian mining companies into consolidation. BHP have taken over fellow miner WMC in a AUS$95m. deal. Meanwhile, mining companies Down Under have demanded port rationalisation from the central government to maintain a steady flow of iron ore, most notably to the Far East. Steel demand is now also increasing in Russia and causing similar problems to the Russian construction industry as experienced elsewhere. Returning to Australia, BHP once more made headlines when it was rumoured to intent to place iron ore shipments on the spot market.
Whilst the Atlantic market was holding fairly firm, maybe also due to some Cape stems split into Panamax cargoes, the Pacific market remained weak but maybe leveling off at the end of last week. Ballasters from the East influenced and might continue to influence the South Africa market and might also have an influence on the Atlantic market this week. Short period activity slightly weaker but steady. The index t/c average came off by about US$2,000 to finish the weak at almost US$36,000 level.
The Atlantic remains firm on back of fertilizer and scrap cargoes from the Continent. There are talks that over US$40,000 have been paid for trip East. South American grain keep the momentum. Handymax get fixed in the high US$30’s west Africa. The US Gulf seems to slow down a little bit. The Far East is going down quickly facing a combination of rapid pace of ship deliveries and lack of cargoes. Indian iron exports are slowing down and one soon may see ballasters across the Indian ocean.
Source: Barry Rogliano Salles, Shipbrokers, Paris