While the first figures on the effects of Chinese government credit restriction measures are published showing a very light decrease of their industrial output, dry bulk markets are again badly suffering from a bearish trend and this time with no exception. The Cape market was particularly slow this week with little to report but always below previous levels. Panamaxes are struggling hard to find employment in the Atlantic while the Pacific hardly maintained last week situation. Handymaxes are experiencing the same situation as Panamaxes in the Atlantic and a very few stems to deal with in the East resulting in one of the deepest fall of rates in a week since the beginning of the year.
The Panamax market continued its downward trend, albeit at a slightly slower pace than in the previous weeks. Everybody seems to wait for the market to bottom out, and some players are making timid steps towards taking tonnage in. But so far slow activity and uncertainty prevail. Meanwhile the t/c index slipped from about US$22,500 to about US$21,000, mostly on account of the Atlantic market.
As far as the Handy/Handymax market is concerned, there is no change from last week with no signs of improvement. Everywhere the charterers are pushing rates down though some pockets of resistance can be seen here and there depending on size and positions. It seems that sugar cargoes have been moving from South America bringing some activity in an otherwise dull market. Trips from West Africa to Aden/Japan are now being talked at low/mid US$20’s. Overall, we are back to the October 2003 market erasing six months of unprecedented levels. Fine and balanced tune now ? Some may think so, looking more carefully at period ships.
Week ending: 20/06/2004
Source: Barry Rogliano Salles Shipbrokers