Oh no! Doom in dry cargo shipping markets as ave of 4 TCE falls to lowest level in a year. Mar 23By james tweed • Mar 23rd, 2012 • Category: Dry Cargo
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Thank you for downloading the dry cargo market report from Coracle Online and the Baltic Exchange for March 23rd 2012. This report looks at the Capesize and Panamax, Supra and Handymax markets.
We start with the Capesize sector where falling rates have resulted in the lowest 4-timecharter average for over a year and that means a pretty gloomy end to the week for the big ships. In the east the major Australian shippers made a brief appearance in the market, but their activity was limited, resulting in a further squeeze on rates. The Dampier/Qingdao run dropped to $7.45 for a cargo from 8 April … that shipment shows a return of about $1,500 daily on a 180,000-tonner. Earnings were negligible on ships coming from anywhere other than Taiwan or south China. Essentially there was little interest from charterers to fix on timecharter and rates were gradually eroded on the lack of volume. Charterers were talking as little as $4,000 daily for South African rounds. Period activity was negligible with owners having to accept ever wider spreads. Despite a 180,000-dwt, which was in ballast, having to accept $2,500 daily for a transatlantic round, there remained a chronic shortage of capesizes in the Atlantic largely on the almost zero backhaul activity in the market. There was just a faint glimmer with more Colombia/US east coast coal, but this has yet to translate in to higher numbers. Fronthaul for ships open in the Atlantic saw reasonable rates with a 174,000-tonner, again in ballast, fixed at something over $22,500 daily, but as the week draws to a close there was a suggestion that a 180,000 tonner open on the Continent early April was booked for a Ponta Da Madeira/Japan run at a timecharter equivalent of $17,000 daily..
Moving to the Panamaxes and South American grain remained the focus of activity; continuing to lend support to both the Atlantic and the Pacific markets. In the Atlantic, there has been a reasonable volume of transatlantic activity but this was largely confined to quick coal runs. Most of the business fixed was done on an APS basis, although a grain house fixed a 77,000-tonner from Baltimore for 1-8 April for a trip to the Mediterranean at $10,750 daily plus a $375,000 bonus. Brazil/Argentina cargoes did absorb some Atlantic ships, but charterers were also still sourcing ships from the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia. As the week drew to a close some brokers said the market looked toppy with a widening spread on rate ideas between charterers and owners.
Now the smaller ships and some stronger numbers were once again being reported in the North Atlantic as reports emerged of a 2004 built 49,000 dwt vessel being fixed for a trip from the US Gulf to Turkey with pet coke off a spot position at about $18,000 daily. Front-haul rates were also improved as a 2004 built Japanese built 53,000 tonner was fixed with grains to the Far East at $22,500 daily. From the European side there appeared to be more scrap business. Activity from South America included a modern handy fixing 25,000 tonnes of barley from the southern port Bahia Blanca to Casablanca at a good $39.75. Strong rates were also being reported in the East, being well supported by the south-east Asia mineral trades. A Tess 45 type open CJK spot was reported to have been fixed for a trip via Nopac to Thailand at a good $9,500 daily.