The capesize market concluded the week on a relatively sombre note. The Pacific market struggled with limited participation from the miners throughout the week, resulting in declining rates driven by tonnage build-up and an overall shortage of coal enquiry. The Atlantic market faced a slow start, with notable bid reductions from charterers, leading to a widening bid-offer spread and fewer fixtures being concluded. However, towards the end of the week, there were indications of increased activity from South Brazil and West Africa to the Far East, suggesting a potential attempt to find a market equilibrium. By midweek, the North Atlantic market exhibited signs of stabilisation after experiencing substantial downturns earlier in the week. This resulted in market conditions remaining somewhat subdued as the week drew to a close, reflecting the impact of growing tonnage against a backdrop of diminishing cargo availability. The BCI 5TC commenced the week at $29,851 but experienced notable losses, concluding the week at $18,015 by Friday's close.
The decline in the Panamax market showed no signs of abating this week, with further substantial corrections in both basins. In the Atlantic, a distinct lack of mineral demand in the North, as well as a build-up of tonnage count, weighed heavily on the very few deals to be reported this week. Limited talk midweek of a floor being found from EC South America appeared premature, with charterers still able to pick off the ample ballasters, dependent on the arrival window, the customary rate variance played out but generally the P6 route averaged out to around $13,500 and $13,750 levels. Asia also remained downcast, with Indonesian coal exports continuing to be an issue and, despite some minor support ex NoPac and Australia, this did little to impact an ever-growing tonnage count with limited options. Mixed rates on period throughout the week, the highlight being an 82,000-dwt delivery China achieving $14,350 for one year.
The rather inauspicious start to the new year continued over the week with little for owners to get excited about. In the Atlantic, activity appeared softer in most key areas with a healthy tonnage supply more than keeping up with demand. Brokers spoke of very little requirement from the South Atlantic for trans-Atlantic runs. From the Asian arena, some described the week as positional. With a reasonable number of fresh requirements both from the NoPac and Australia, limited fresh enquiry further south saw rates remain in check for the most part. Activity from the Atlantic included a 63,000-dwt fixing a trip delivery EC North America redelivery East Mediterranean at $24,000. Elsewhere, a 58,000-dwt was fixed delivery North Continent for a scrap run to East Mediterranean in the mid $16,000s. From Asia, a 63,000-dwt open North China for heard fixed for a NoPac round voyage redelivery WC India at $12,750. From the south, a 55,000-dwt open South China was fixed for a trip via Vietnam redelivery Bangladesh at $9,000.
Continued negativity was seen across the handy sector, with limited cargo availability and growing tonnage lists continuing. In the Mediterranean, a 28,000-dwt was fixed from Arzew to Florida with bagged cement at $7,500 whilst a 40,000-dwt was rumoured to have fixed for from Algeria to US Gulf at $9,000. The South Atlantic also saw levels fall, with a 36,000-dwt fixing from Santos to Morocco with a cargo of sugar in the mid-teens whilst a 36,000-dwt was said to have been fixed from Rio Grande to WC Central America at $23,000. With similar market conditions in the US Gulf, sentiment remained negative. Southeast Asia also experienced a lack of fresh enquiry as a 38,000-dwt fixed from Singapore via Western Australia to China with alumina at $8,400. Further north, a 34,000-dwt opening in CJK fixed a trip to Southeast Asia at $8,000. Period interest was still evident with a 28,000-dwt in Cigading fixing for four-to-six months at $9,250.