The longer you can wait the more you win, could be the best way to describe charterers’ position this week on almost all dry bulk markets. No clear sign of any upward trend in the short term has emerged on the market yet, so everybody seems convinced that next week could again end on a weaker note. In this "low pressure" context the Atlantic basin showed some better resistance. Thanks to a higher number of Cape fixtures in the East their situation almost stabilised by the end of the week. Panamaxes recorded some really bad marks and still don’t see the end of the tunnel arriving soon, while Handies did not seem to suffer to the same extent from a lack of new business.
Despite a positive sentiment in the Panamax market last week, the return of the Chinese and the Japanese from their holidays did not have the desired effect. In fact, the Panamax market saw a considerable weakening across the board and the feeling now is that this will continue in the near future. There were a few more fixtures on the grain front but nothing that could prove to be significant. Period activity was very limited but a number of owners were showing keen interest to discount rates for contracts commencing in the middle of this year for one, two or three years forward. Charterers of course are in no rush and are waiting to see where this market will go before jumping.
Handy/Handymax continued falling, vessels being plentiful in ppt position particularly in the South Atlantic or US Gulf. It is important to note anyhow that Med/Continent are pretty strong for Handysize, reflecting once more the lack of enthusiasm for newbuilding tonnage of this size over the recent years. The Far East still lacks activity with Handymaxes holding region US$24,000-25,000 for short periods.
Week ending: 23/05/2004
Source: Barry Rogliano Salles Shipbrokers