The firmer trend that started to push up Capesize rates last week continued throughout most of the week however ended on a weaker note. The Panamax market remained similar to last week with still a lot of prompt vessels to fix in the Atlantic and only a few mineral stems to cover. Handies were slow with some pockets of activity in the Med/Atlantic area but not enough to balance the lack of business in the Pacific and the now badly missing grain stems out of the US Gulf and WCSA ports.
The Panamax market continued its downward trend with little grain activity, even though some rumours appeared about a potential solution for the Chinese ban on soybeans imports. Rates have fallen on all routes with the average of the four Timecharter routes at around US$22,500 against around US$24,000 the previous week.
The HandyMax market continued falling with so far no light
at the end of the tunnel. The Far East took the largest token but the Continent/Med, which up until recently resisted well, finally gave up. Ships open there are plentiful. Sending a ship on ballast is becoming today a true challenge. One should not forget though that the levels remain historically high. Tess 45 still achieve mid/high teens for short period depending delivery. But the players are cautious though and no long-term deals are being done so far.
Week ending: 13/06/2004
Source: Barry Rogliano Salles Shipbrokers