With spring coming to an end and the summer to commence, business is starting to scale down to summer levels as could be expected. All bulk rates continued to be under pressure and slipping gradually due to a decreasing cargo volume. Last weeks big loser were the Handymax rates, almost freefalling although still at quite historical levels. The Atlantic basin being still more favourable than the Pacific, which can be not yet be attributed to the strategic ’ease down’ of the Chinese economy. A negative impact resulting from the Chinese decision could become reality within the next few months although some analysts are already showing some optimism about a grand scale recovery after the summer months instead of further erosion.
Another very slow week in the Panamax market, with the markets in the Atlantic still free-falling. The Pacific basin managed to slow the fall and the Pacific round almost levelled out towards the end of last week, but is still down more than US$1000 compared to last week (which is almost nothing compared to the US$4000-5000 that the Atlantic market lost). It is of course too early to say if this is the first sign of the bottom being reached or yet another dent in the downward zigzag curve.
Another disappointing week. Overall the Handy/Handymax market has been very quiet. It looks like some operators are getting stuck
with expensive ships and have no choice but to nominate their tonnage on contractual cargoes to break even or secure a small profit. This being said, one can see more coal cargoes from Indonesia or Vietnam to India or China. Consequently, the market firmed up a little bit in the Far East. It is also interesting to note that steel shipments from China are increasing putting additional pressure on an otherwise dull market. Tess 45 can hardly secure more than US$15,000-16,000 in the Atlantic. Let’s see what the fertiliser season starting in the southern hemisphere will bring.
Week ending: 27/06/2004
Source: Barry Rogliano Salles Shipbrokers