The Capesize market observed a shortened trading week due to the public holiday in the UK on Monday and another in Singapore on Friday. Trading in the Pacific region displayed consistent volumes throughout the week. The presence of all three major players led to a slightly optimistic market sentiment earlier in the week, but this positivity did not significantly impact rates on C5, which saw only a minor increase. Meanwhile, the Atlantic market remained subdued, with bids on C3 struggling to attract interest, reflecting owners' hesitancy. The North Atlantic faced challenges with an excess of spot vessels and a shortage of cargo, pressuring the market. Despite hopes for increased Pacific activity before Singapore's holiday on Friday, the market did not experience a significant upswing, and freight rates remained relatively steady. The North Atlantic continued to grapple with oversupply issues, leading to limited enquiry and competition among owners for available cargoes. Rates from South Brazil to the Far East experienced further declines as charterers adjusted their bids downward. Overall, the market sentiment persisted as bearish.
The Panamax market opened the week on a firm footing, but we ended with rates slowly eroding, particularly in the Atlantic as pressure was applied all week with a basic lack of demand, especially for the Transatlantic trades. South America front haul trips started brightly but activity fizzled out as the week progressed, with several deals concluding mid-week basis delivery India at $16,000. Conversely, Asia witnessed solid cargo volumes ex Australia and NoPac, including an 82,000-dwt delivery North China fixed for a NoPac round trip at $12,000. Some impacts being applied by a typhoon in the south of the region, the market with favourable positioned ships taking advantage. However, nervousness from the Atlantic physical and FFA market appeared to impact the basin here too as we approached the weekend. Period activity remained minimal with a wide bid/offer spread but reports of a scrubber-fitted 81,500-dwt delivery Hong Kong achieving $11,000 basis 6/8 months.
Gains were seen this week across the Atlantic as demand increased and limited tonnage availability was evident. The Black Sea region was especially active with a 61,000-dwt fixing from Eregli via the Black Sea to Singapore-Japan range at $20,500. In the US Gulf, a 63,000-dwt was fixed for a trip to India at $22,000 whilst a 61,000-dwt fixed from Brownsville to Egypt at $18,750 with a guaranteed minimum duration of 50 days. The South Atlantic also improved with a 62,000-dwt fixing from San Nicolas to Singapore-Japan range at $16,000 plus a $600,000 ballast bonus. Increased activity in the Indian Ocean was also evident, with a 60,000-dwt fixing from Cape Town via Saldanha to China at $17,500 with a $175,000 ballast bonus. In Asia, levels were more balanced with a holiday in Singapore tempering activity, a 61,000-dwt fixed from Gresik to WC India at $14,500. Period activity remained and a 63,000-dwt opening in India fixed 4 to 6 months at $15,000.
The Handy sector has remained positive, with the Atlantic seeing the biggest gains. In the Black Sea, a 35,000-dwt was fixed passing Canakkale via Constantza to Jebel Ali at $10,000 whilst a 34,000-dwt fixed from Otranto via Constantza to Morocco at $12,000. Activity was said to have improved on the North Coast of South America with a 33,000-dwt fixing a trip to the Continent at $9,000. A 37,000-dwt fixed an Alumina cargo from Fazendinha to Norway at $16,000. The Asia markets were more balanced. A 32,000-dwt was fixed from Singapore via Australia for a round voyage at $9,500 whilst a 35,000-dwt opening ex dry dock in China fixed a trip via Japan to the East Coast of India with steels at $9,500. Period had also been active with a 32,000-dwt opening in China fixing for 4 to 6 months at $9,850, whilst in the Atlantic a 37,000-dwt opening in Brunsbuttle fixed for 7 to 9 months at 95% of the BHSI index.