Markets start to slide

Markets start to slide
Published: 21 December 2004

At present everybody is "skiing down to the village" and the heaviest is the fastest. Capes have recorded this week historical downward figures and the number of ships remaining unfixed by the end of the week had not been seen for a long time. Panamaxes rates have failed to regain the ground lost last week due to the number of ships open, despite a comeback of charterers attracted by more reasonable market level. Handymaxes are still resisting better to this correction, thanks to a not huge but steady level of business in both basins.









The downwards trend at the end of the week before continued and even accelerated with record falls almost every day of last week. The Capesize market lost almost US$25,000 during last week to around US$75,000 level at the end of last week. No more period t/c fixing as all the players are watching the market. Is this only a technical correction with the end of the year panic over or some more profound trend ? The next weeks especially beginning January will show.

The Panamax market continued its downward trend, albeit slower than the cape market. Time charter activity was scarce, and yielded mitigated but surprisingly stable results, ranging from US$43 to US$46,000 for 4-6 months, and just under 40k for one year periods. Physical fixing which could provide guidance was hard to find as well, so the index probably is out of tune with the physical. Most likely one will have too wait until after the Christmas holidays to find out where the market really stands, and  especially to find out in which direction it will head in the short term.








Rates for the Handysize & Handymax markets are still suffering from the market correction and the BHMI has gone down by US$681. With the Christmas Holidays approaching, owners are in a hurry to fix their ships for employments which will keep their ladies busy until beginning of January at least. Apart from the Cannakale / Far East route pretty stable, all routes have decreased especially the NOPAC Round with a US$900 decrease and the Far East / Continent with a drop of over US$1,000. The Pacific Basin has been the most affected by the correction and the coming year end break.

The US Gulf region stays hot with a modern large Handymax Grabber reported fixed for a trip to Med at US$50,000. Similar grabbers in the Far East are fixed in the mid $30s for Nopac Rounds ; Handysize vessels from 23,000 to 28,000 dwt are getting between very high teens to low/mid twenties for 2/3 Laden Legs in Se Asia. For Handysize Atlantic Round rates are in the low to mid 20s.

Source: Barry Rogliano Salles, Shipbrokers, Paris