Christmas cheer continues

Christmas cheer continues
Published: 28 December 2003

The Christmas break will come now very soon but until the very end days of December, the dry bulk markets, will have maintained their firm note. The Capesize market has continued to see rates rise, especially for time-charters and periods, while the voyage market was roughly steady, despite the increase of bunker prices. The Panamax sector encountered unchanged conditions, with a large number of ships taken for periods above $US30,000/day, while also voyage rates didn't move much from one week to another. The HandyMax and Handysizes saw a more contrasted situation, with some slightly weaker conditions due to bad weather and port congestion.
The BCI has ended the week on a further 166-point rise, and has reached its highest mark since its was created. Let's remember, that in January, the indices, which were already in a rising mood were at 2993 points. On the period market, one of the most impressive rates, was the fixture reported of the 'SA Glorious', a newbuilding delivery ex yard, at US$52,500 for the account of BHP Billiton for two years. Some smaller/older ships were taken in the region of the mid US$40,000 for 7-11 month periods. These rates show an increase, when compared to previously done. In the East, t/c rates remained above US$80,000/day for trips from Australia to China and/or Japan, and even a 15-years old China SB type got US$70,000 for a Pacific trip. Fronthaul trips stayed at same levels, in the region of the low US$80,000. As said before rates on the spot market remained steady. Transatlantic coal shipments and stems maintained their levels, at just below US$20.00 and US$26.00 ex Richards Bay discharge. On the iron ore front, the Tubarao to Beilun+Baoshun route was still fixed at around US$33/34.00, when rates in the Pacific to China didn't move from US$18.50.
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The steadiness of the Panamax market rage can be seen in the evolution of the BPI, which ended at 4448, a modest 11-point rise, on last Friday. Rates for periods continue to be concluded above US$30,000/day for large/modern ships, and even close to the mid US$30,000 for a newbuilding, delivery in 2004, at US$34,000/day. Otherwise, rates in the Pacific didn't move from an average of US$40,000/day and as usual in the Indian Ocean/Middle East Gulf market some even firmer rates, in the region of US$45,000 were achieved. Fronthaul rates were rather on an upward trend close to US$35,000 for trips to the East, while transatlantic r/v were about at similar levels, such as the 2001-built, 'Alfa Afovos' fixed for a fronthaul trip, delivery Rotterdam, via Baltic and redelivery in China at US$34,000. Contrary to the larger sizes of the bulk fleet, voyage rates, rose at least for coal rose lightly. Coal shipments from South Africa were also up a few cents. The grain market remained in the low US$50.00 for voyages from the US Gulf to Japan.

HandyMax : Fronthaul rates for large ships continued to firm up in the region of US$27,000 for the highest fixtures, and transatlantic r/v and Pacific ones maintained similar levels as last week, in the region of US$25/26,000 at the best. Handymaxes for USG/Japan are taking US$36/38,000 with still a heavy programme ahead. On the period market, let's mention the fixture of the 2002-built 'Maritime Jeogan' fixed for 12 months, with delivery in China at a strong US$26,750. Older/smaller ships are also in a position to get firm rates, such as a 38,000 tonner, built 1986, for a tct delivery in Rotterdam, via PG and redelivery PMO at US$24,500.

Week ending: 28/12/2003
Source: Barry Rogliano Salles Shipbrokers