Rates show some further gains

Rates show some further gains
Published: 28 September 2004

Rates show some further gains

The shortening list of Panamax ships available in the Atlantic resulted in an accelerating rise in freight rates through the week, which ended on a rather strong note. After nearly one month of a market that positively lacked direction, Handy/Handymax rates peaked up during the last five trading days benefiting from a stronger demand in both basins and the prospect of a re-start of grain exports from the US Gulf after the hurricane "Ivan" could even accelerate this upward trend.

In the news, in addition to the announcement of a new 10-year iron ore supply agreement between CVRD and JFE steel, the coal market is also trying to cope with this raw material frenzy: China grants new export licences to domestic producers, the German DSK plans to increase its coking coal output, and the South-Korean Posco secures its coal supply through the buying of stakes from an Australian coal miner. In this context, vessel prices are reaching new record levels with a Handymax resale with prompt delivery deal inked at $36m.
 
The Panamax market was holding its breath last weak, and is still waiting for the golden days that most owners seem to expect for at least the rest of the year. Nevertheless, all basins and routes were able to register a healthy upward trend, with fronthaul being fixed well above US$36,000. The timecharter market is still firm, with short period LMEs delivery Pacific catching in the US$35,000 region, and one year-periods being fixed at US$31,000 levels, and some two years deals being done in the mid US$20,000.

The Handy market moved upwards last week with an average increase of over US$250 per day for the BHMI. All routes have gone up with a stronger emphasis on the Pacific basin where the round voyage took nearly US$2,000 per day and is now flirting with the US$28,000/d level for 45,000 dwt vessels. For short periods, 52,000 dwt grabbers getting about US$32,000 per day and circa 27,000 dwt units are fixed in the low US$20,000. There has also been a regain of activity in the US Gulf after the passage of the hurricanes, which caused cancellation of alumina stems ex
Jamaica. Tonnage of around 40,000 dwt can get mid US$20,000 for trip US Gulf to East Med.