The Pacific market started with a positive outlook, maintaining healthy cargo volumes driven by substantial coal shipments from East Coast Australia to the Far East. Rates initially increased, but as the week progressed, a notable shift occurred. Owners began contemplating ballasting towards the Atlantic, creating additional pressure in the Pacific market. Despite the presence of all three major players mid-week, the Pacific market displayed signs of stability but later experienced a softening trend, which was partially attributed to a decline in the FFA market. Meanwhile, the Atlantic remained relatively quieter, with limited discussions and a shortage of prompt tonnage in the North Atlantic. South Brazil and West Africa to the Far East continued to be well supported, but rates for earlier dates softened and bid-offer spreads widened. Overall, the week saw fluctuating dynamics in both the Pacific and Atlantic markets, marked by shifts in sentiment and rates.
The week began positively in the Panamax sector, with both the Atlantic and Pacific basins well supported with good demand on all the major trades. However, as the week closed some of the gains appear to have been eroded somewhat. In the Atlantic, decent South America demand seen throughout, coupled with evidence of October arrival US Gulf stems, gave the market some impetus it had been lacking in recent weeks. However, ballast tonnage count now appears heavy, keeping a lid on rates as the weekend approached. Asia started with healthy demand ex NoPac and Australian mineral business, but like the Atlantic, the week appears to have tailed off a touch with wide bid/offer gaps appearing as a different opinion enveloped true market value. Period activity was evident, with several one-year deals concluded, including $16,250 concluded on a scrubber fitted 82,000-dwt whilst $15,000 agreed on a standard 82,000-dwt type delivery Taiwan.
A strong week overall for the sector. Sustained demand was seen from the US Gulf for fronthaul trips to Asia. Whilst strong demand was once again seen from the Continent, Mediterranean regions helping to keep rates at good levels. Tight tonnage availability was an aspect in the South Atlantic, although some cautioned that fresh enquiry was limited for October as the week closed. The Asian arena similarly saw stronger numbers being achieved throughout the week as enquiry from Indonesia remained abundant. The North also saw better demand both from the NoPac and for backhaul steel requirements from China to the Continent. Period cover was still sought. A 63,000-dwt open India fixing at $16,000 for 5 to 7 months trading, whilst another 63,000-dwt open China fixed one year at around $14,000. In the Atlantic, a Supramax was heard fixed from the Baltic to WC India at $28,000. From Asia, a 63,000-dwt open South Korea was fixed for a NoPac round with wood pellets at $16,000. A 63,000-dwt open North China was fixed for a trip to the Continent at $12,750 for first 65 days and $16,000 for the balance. Further south, a 63,000-dwt open South Vietnam fixed a trip via Indonesia redelivery South China at $20,500.
In a largely positive week across a majority of sectors in the handy market, gains were seen in both basins. The Continent and Mediterranean saw increased cargo availability and limited tonnage with a 34,000-dwt fixing from the Immingham to the Mediterranean at $22,000. The Black Sea was also active, with a 28,000-dwt fixing from Constanta to Morocco with an intended cargo of grains at $17,000 to a grain house. The South Atlantic has seen levels contract due to a lack of fresh enquiry and a 34,000-dwt was fixed from Recalada to East Coast India with an intended cargo of petcoke at $19,000. In the US Gulf, a 37,000-dwt was fixed from Mobile to the Continent with an intended cargo of pellets at $14,500. Activity was said to have been limited in Asia, but a 37,000-dwt was linked to fixing from CJK to Southeast Asia in the $9,000s. A 35,000-dwt was fixed from San Francisco to intention China at about $14,000.