While tanker freight rates are cruising into some unexplored areas, dry bulk rates are getting nervous too despite a rather "normal" volume of business. Especially in the Cape segment, everyone is still convinced that the winter period will be very hot, so each deal fixed this week has been done well over the previous one driving rates back to the exact same level they reached one year ago. The Panamax market is also starting to boil with everyone expecting a prompt come back of charterers in both basins. Despite staying firm Handy/Handymax rates marked a pause this week but tonnage supply remains very tight.
In the news, some major steel producers have again pushed up their prices, not only responding to a higher demand worldwide, but also following the rising cost of their inputs, oil, coal and iron ore. So far no one see steel prices softening before at least one or two years.
The Panamax market rose swiftly at the beginning of last week, and this although the Chinese were still away on holidays. All routes followed the upward trend, but slowed down again at the end of the week. However with the Cape market skyrocketing in the background, and Asia active again (although today was also a holiday in Japan), Panamaxes can surely hope to regain some ground after the fairly sluggish last weeks. The time-charter market has been firm, with LMEs obtaining well in excess of US$35,000 for 4-6 months and over US$32,000 for periods of about one year.
After very short-lived signs of weaknesses at the beginning of the week, the trend for Handies and Handymax has stayed firm and the BHMI increased by nearly 200 US$ per day. The Atlantic Basin has shown a significant increase in activity especially for cargoes from the US Gulf to the Continent where rates rose up by about 1,000 US$ per day. In the Pacific basin, market has slowed down due to the holidays in the Far East and the Pacific round took a hit of 460 US$ per day over the week. This market could peak up again this week with the end of vacations. The Continent stayed firm with modern Handymax being fixed at a daily rate of around 30,000 US$ for short periods.
Source: Barry Rogliano Salles, Shipbrokers, Paris