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Limited gains in a sluggish dry cargo chartering market. Cape and Panamax news.

By • Feb 10th, 2014 • Category: Dry Cargo

The Coracle Dry Cargo podcast for Feb 7, 2014 in association with The Baltic Exchange

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Thanks for downloading the dry cargo market report from Coracle Online and the Baltic Exchange for week ending February 7th 2014. This report looks at the Capesize and Panamax markets.

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We start with the Capesizes and although Chinese New Year celebrations curtailed activity as they came to an end the market saw some limited gains. There was some activity from one or two of the Australian shippers, with Rio Tinto fixing a couple of ships for 19-20 February onwards from Dampier to Qingdao at $7.40 – allegedly direct with the owners. As the week closed rumours suggested that $7.60 had been done more than once and there was talk of $7.85. There was also talk of $7.50 being agreed. What has been evident is that period rates have held, maintaining the belief that healthier times are ahead. A 175,000 tonner fixed for 13 to 16 months trading with Qingdao delivery 17 February at $23,500 daily. However, for further spot market improvements, there needs to be more activity from Brazil: there were a few cargoes fixed this week, but rates for 160,000 tonnes 10% from Tubarao to Qingdao remained under $20.00.

Atlantic trading generally remained sluggish. Some brokers remained bearish, particularly for transatlantic business, but others suggested there were some signs of renewed interest. Details of business fixed were in short supply but transatlantic rates appeared to be barely $7,000 daily, with some pitching levels lower.

Moving to the Panamaxes and ballasters continued to weigh on the market, as ships reluctant to take low rates in the East headed off for east coast South America. Activity there increased slightly, but rates remained in the doldrums. March cargoes were in greater supply but it remained questionable whether there was enough to absorb the ballasters.
The US Gulf saw little trading and ballasters from the East were fixing transatlantic cargoes at low levels. The North Atlantic generally remained under pressure with a long list of tonnage and few cargoes quoting. Transatlantic rates remained difficult to assess, with US east coast coal rounds concluding at around the very low $10,000 daily range and voyage rates showing an even lower return. Fronthaul activity has largely focused on cargoes from Murmansk to the East with rates in the low/mid $20,000 daily range.

In the Pacific, encouragement came from ongoing period activity at rates significantly in excess of spot levels, particularly for year periods. The year rate hovered around $14,000 daily, depending on the ship. Spot rates were hovering near the upper $8,000 daily range for the longer rounds, though ships open Japan-South Korea range have seen rates in five figures this week. Indonesian round voyages improved slightly but were still in the mid $7,000 daily range for quick trips.

Thanks for listening