Last week was not so quiet on dry bulk markets despite the absence of some players for Easter festivities by the end of the week. This steady level of fixtures stopped the fall in Cape rates. Situation was almost similar in the Panamax segment but the level of business in the East remained subdued. The Handy market remained tight particularly in the Atlantic where rates have again progressed for prompt tonnage.
A mixed feeling is emerging from the news this week. On the bright side first, a situation which is back to normal on the South African coal export front at Richards Bay (despite leaving exporters with disruptions on some grades) and the announcement from CVRD of a sharp increase in its 4th quarter 2004 results and even higher forecast for 2005.
The Panamax market was surprisingly active considering the Easter holidays. Some of this was due to panic fixing prior the long weekend form owners with spot positions. The Atlantic remained firm mainly due to grain activity from South America but some extra pressure was applied by some of the industrials keen to cover spot iron ore and coal stems. Trips to the Far East were registered at US$48,000 per day whilst transatlantic business was concluded in the region of US$45,000. The Pacific market was still under some pressure due the lack of stems and build up of spot tonnage and some vessels were already ballasting towards Richards Bay and Plate. Short period activity was thin but the few fixtures concluded were still at healthy levels.
The Handy market has been fairly quiet on the back of the Easter Holidays although some pockets of more intense activity were being seen. The South Atlantic for instance remains firm with Tess 45 commanding levels in the region of US$34,000 for Atlantic trading. The US Gulf is another hot spot with Far East trips being fixed in the US$50,000 level. By comparison, the Far East is more quiet. Tonnage is available in all sizes save for the smaller sizes but rates remain firm. Modern 27,000 dwt are getting low 20’s for 1 year for prompt delivery and the level of period relets is still high.
Source: Barry Rogliano Salles, Shipbrokers, Paris