Thursday, 24 May 12 DRY BULK MARKET RETREATS ON LACK OF CHINA DEMAND - NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU, HELLENIC SHIPPING
The dry bulk market retreated yesterday on the back of lower Chinese demand for commodities such as coal and iron ore, typically hauled by dry bulk carriers. Yesterday, the industry’s benchmark, the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) was down by 2.4% to 1,100 points, with the Capesize segment losing the most, as the Capesize Index was down by 63 points or 3.93 percent to 1,539 points.Commenting on the Capesize market, shipbroker Fearnleys noted that “the number of ballasters is increasing and the Tubarao/Qingdao rates has been dropping steady throughout the week. Last done is USD 20 pmt, and it seems some owners are now prepared to face the sub 20 level for this trade. Furthermore, the ballasters from the Far East are to a larger extent competing with the Atlantic tonnage for USEC/St Lawrence cargoes. West Australia-China rates have been flat around the 7.70 mark whilst period activity is inactive but levels remaining around 12k for a year” said the shipbroker.
On the Panamax market, Fearnleys noted that “last week ended with a bullish sentiment from owners with predictions of tight supply for Atlantic tonnage. This took a turn this week with an extremely slow Monday, low activity and a growing list of available ships in the Atlantic. Owners are gradually willing to look at fronthaul as Atlantic is weakening. The indices have slowly been declining, but the general sentiment is even more bearish than the indices reflect assisted by a falling forward curve. Despite more coal cargoes out of USG and USEC for direction India/Feast and the Continent, the number of ships is outnumbering the cargoes. The Tarv´s are being fixed in region of USD 10-12k depending on duration and trade. In the Pacific we see the same tendency with rates slipping for all trades and a Pac round is now paying around USD 7.5k. The period market has somewhat vanished with little being done” it mentioned.
Meanwhile, in the Handy/Supra markets, Fearnleys stated that the “Supra market continued with the same pace as last week. Skaw/Passero deliveries fixed towards US Gulf were paid around USD 5k, while US Gulf fixtures concluded tick below USD 24k for UK/Cont direction. Fronthauls was hovering around USD 19k p/d. Pacific market has been weak and falling due to lot of prompt available ships and lack of cargoes. For Indo- India, large eco Supra now fixed at USD 7k + BB USD 80k bss APS Indonesia. Nickel ore cargoes are not seen in market anymore due to on-going Indo ban which has again taken away cargoes and putting pressure on market. Nopac also fixed under USD 9k dop Japan. Indian iron ore market remains quiet with less activity on WCI & ECI. WCI-China rates around USD 10k and ECI-China around USD 7k. Some ECI Supras have been ballasting to pick up Indo cargoes as well. RBCT rv fixed at APS USD 11k + BB USD 350k. Red Sea fertilisers to India are fixed high teens. Not much activity seen on short period and rates around USD 10k for large Supra” it concluded.
In a separate note, Shiptrade Services, a Piraeus-based shipbroker noted on the Supramax market that “the USG market is recovering in this size range with many fresh coal and scrap requirements in the market. The lack of tonnage in W Med and W Africa led the rates upwards The rates basis aps USG / ECSA closed well above 20,000 and we also learned that tonnage was fixed for trips via W Africa to Far East at USD 20000. The short period rates closed at USD mid teens levels depending on delivery , speed/cons figures etc. On the contrary the rates in the Pacific dropped heavily like in the Panamax market. The market turned pretty quickly to an aps market whereas the week before all supramax chartereres were rating vessels in china basis delivery dop for Aussie or NOPAC rounds. The Indonesian market also softened with Nickel ore round rates closing at USD 8000 basis delivery South China whereas Coal rounds closed at usd 6,500-7,000 depending on vessel’s particular, delivery etc. The backhaul rates closed at USD 6-7000 region depending on delivery and redelivery” it noted.
On the Handysize market, Shiptrade said that “in the Atlantic, the round voyage improved with rates ex ECSA to Med/Continent at USD 18,000 levels basis aps, a USD 1,000 increase than the week before. Coastal Latin America trips that will keep the vessels in the area were being fixed at USD 13,500 while USG was paying USD 17,500 for Continent/Med direction. Intra Med cargoes were done at USD 7,250 via Black Sea to Spain Med and orders ex Black Sea to USG and ECSA remained once again at very low levels. Trips from Continent to West Africa were fixed at USD 10,500. Pacific remained stable with a slight increase in numbers with the round voyage at around USD 8/8,500. Log cargoes via Australia to China and some short trips at North China/Korea range were on better levels around USD 9,000. The iron ore and coal cargoes ex Malaysia to China were paying USD 15/16 pmt leaving owners with low T/C equivalents. Backhaul trips were done at USD 8,550 levels, mainly with bagged rice ex SEASIA to West Africa. Periods were fixed at around USD 9,000 levels which was much improved compared to last week’s numbers” the report concluded. Source: Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping
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