In the Pacific, the week began with promising involvements from all three majors, yet this enthusiasm did not translate into substantial market gains, yielding a relatively stagnant atmosphere. As the week unfolded, Pacific trading maintained a decent cargo volume, although the presence of surplus tonnage limited potential gains and led to a relatively stable market. In the Atlantic, a pattern emerged where increasing offers were noted, particularly from South Brazil and West Africa to the Far East, despite relatively thin enquiry in the North Atlantic. However, as the week progressed, activity in the Atlantic experienced fluctuations. The midweek saw an increase in Pacific activity, yet freight rates remained relatively flat. Simultaneously, the North Atlantic continued to exhibit minimal activity and scant enquiry, contributing to an overall subdued sentiment. The latter part of the week witnessed a persistently bearish outlook in the Pacific, marked by reduced activity despite the engagement of key market players. Contrary to initial hopes of stabilisation, further declines were evident, notably on the C5 route. Meanwhile, in the Atlantic, the activity saw a mild decrease following a series of fixtures concluded earlier in the week. Brokers noted an increase of vessels in ballasts, adding to the prevailing bearish sentiment in the market. Overall, the week encapsulated a mixed performance in the capesize market, with varying degrees of activities and sentiment shifts across the Pacific and Atlantic regions.
The Panamax market returned with mixed results this week. With limited activity emerging the North Atlantic drifted over the course of the week, a few signs of better fronthaul rates midweek failed to materialise into much. By comparison, EC South America saw a healthy level of demand both for September and October arrivals and rates stabilised the latter part of the week, $13,500 around the mean average for BPI82 types of delivery Southeast Asia/India region. In Asia, a smattering of NoPac fixtures emerged mid-week with rates in the $11,000’s and whilst trips via Indonesia and Australia to India paid a small premium to standard Pacific rounds, rates overall were pegged down as demand ex Indonesia failed to materialise and pressure grew on an increasing tonnage count. Limited period talk this week however we end the week with a positive push from the FFA market, enabling some owners to remain cautiously optimistic.
It was a two-sided affair over the week. As sentiment remained positive in the Atlantic, a healthy demand from key areas such as the US Gulf and EC South America combined with better levels of cargo from the Continent-Mediterranean saw stronger numbers being achieved. A 58,000-dwt fixing delivery SW Pass for a trip Singapore-Japan at $16,500. A 58,000-dwt was also fixed delivery West Africa trip via Morocco redelivery EC India at $15,000. From Asia, a change in direction occurred with a buildup of prompt tonnage as less fresh enquiry entered the market from Indonesia. Further north, some described a finely balanced market but again less enquiry was seen. A 58,000-dwt fixed delivery Ko Sichang via Indonesia redelivery WC India at $8,500. Sustained activity from the Indian Ocean, a 63,000-dwt fixing delivery Jebel Ali trip redelivery Bangladesh at $14,000. Period enquiry remained active, a 63,000-dwt open South Africa fixing 10-12 months redelivery worldwide at $14,000.
Whilst there was minimal visible activity, bullish sentiment remained for owners across the handy sector. The summer season is drawing to a close across Europe and a 37,000-dwt was fixed basis delivery passing skaw via the Baltic to the USEC with an intended cargo of grains at $8,500 whilst improved levels were also seen in the Mediterranean. Tonnage availability in the South Atlantic and US Gulf regions was also still evident and owners were said to be seeing improving levels. In Asia, it was more balanced but a 38,000-dwt opening in Indonesia was fixed via Western Australia to China with an intended cargo of concentrates in the $13,000’s and a 37,000-dwt was fixed from Tarakan via Indonesia to China with coal at $10,500. Period interest was also still evident from charterers with a 28,000-dwt being fixed basis delivery in China for 3 to 5 months at $9,000 and rumours of a 35,000-dwt opening in Japan fixing at $10,500 for a similar period.