The dry bulk market sees through a static period at the moment. With the Easter week having passed, a rather dull period is hoped to have come to an end. The future prospect of intensified world-wide trading up to the summer is expected with cautiousness, especially with the grain harvests on the Southern hemisphere starting in due course. Major steel producers are planning output rises, which could be warmly received by the market. On the other hand, the continuous rise of steel prices remains a firm reason to be on alert. It seems again that every silver lining has regained its cloud.
The Panamax market continued its shift toward the Atlantic, which saw rates firming up, whereas the Pacific softened considerably. The voyage market stills seems to be carried by mineral cargoes more than grains, but in expectance of the coming grain season some forward time-charter activity has been
noticed, where a lme type delivered in the Atlantic can hope to fetch well in excess of US$50,000 for a short period.
The Handy/Handymax market continued to slip further down. The Easter week certainly took its toll. The activity was quiet overall although one can feel here and there some pockets of firmness with ships eventually getting fixed or nominated on own cargoes. The most surprising note comes from South America with so far no signs of activity picking up, despite news that " Yes, the gains will come". On the back of future activity some ships have been taken on short period, though in the mid-20s. Let’s see what today brings...
Week ending: 18/04/2004
Source: Barry Rogliano Salles Shipbrokers