As expected last week the market has been prompt to react to the new wave of business which surfaced this week on almost all dry bulk markets. Capesize rates regained more than half the ground lost last week and some already think that this nervousness predicts new record levels for the winter period. The list of Panamax vessels available has been quickly shortened and rates have started to peak up mid-week in both basins. Despite some more activity surfacing in the Atlantic, the HandyMax market has remained almost balanced last week in both basins. Everyone seems convinced that this trend should maintain at least for next week.
In the news, several massive transport deals between major industrial and shipping players will mean a further bunch of Capesize orders before the end of 2004, including several 200,000 to 300,000 tonners. In the meantime major Japanese steelmakers forecast healthy results for the current fiscal year saying that they again
expect greater industrywide domestic steel demand than in the previous fiscal year, which partly relies on domestic shipbuilders steel plates consumption.
After the weakening trend of the previous week due to too many prompt open ships, especially in the Atlantic, the enquiry came back beginning last week and the Cape market then turned with strong increases during the second half. A lot of short period fixing at strong levels which could confirm the bullish view for the next two quarters by several charterers and operators.
The Panamax market moved upwards on all routes this week but with more emphasis in the Pacific where there was plenty of new enquiry and a fair number of short term period fixtures showing confidence in the market for at least the rest of the year. The Atlantic market was a lot more positional with some owners being able to take advantage of the uncertain spot market situation. Sentiment is still bullish on both physical and paper.
The HandyMax market has remained almost balanced last week in both basins. Everyone seems convinced that this trend should be maintained at least for next week. Large Handymax achieved low US$30,000 per day for Pacific rounds while Handysizes got low US$20,000. Similar levels are being fixed for trips India to China. The Atlantic saw a little dip which should be short lived. Trips to the Far East are being talked in the high US$20,000/ low US$30,000’s with a regain of activity from the Continent. The period market remains active.
Source: Barry Rogliano Shipbrokers, Paris