The Capesize market experienced a strong week with the timecharter average breaking over $30,000/day, the highest value in 17 months. However, the surge hit pause on Thursday and the 5TC slipped below the threshold to $29,493 on Friday. Strong rates were reported from North Atlantic, regardless of short or long duration fronthaul trips, with tonnage list remaining tight throughout the week. Early loading dates from Saldanha Bay and Brazil paid a good premium on vessels with prompt dates. A Tubarao to Qingdao run was paying $25.772, or about mid $21,000s, for a China-Brazil round trip. In the Pacific, decent cargo levels were traded when the week first began but with only one major in the market later of the week, settling the West Australia to Qingdao run at $10.70. The second half of the week was slower across both basins in general.
The Panamax market returned a real Atlantic/Asia divide this week. The Atlantic market progressed all week, particularly midweek, primarily driven by both solid mineral and grain demand both for transatlantic and fronthaul trips, with the former assisted by some cape split cargo entering the fray. The headline rate was an 81,000 dwt delivery Gibraltar securing $18,000 for a trans-Atlantic grain round trip. South America added sound support, with a host of deals concluded for first-half November arrival window at rates better than last done. It was a lethargic Pacific market this week, except for a minor push ex-Indonesia where demand remained steady all week, but mostly absorbed by smaller/older type tonnage. Disappointing demand ex-NoPac and Australia failed to lend any support to rates and numbers for these longer runs drifted over the course of the week. Period activity was limited, with a scrubber-fitted 82,000 dwt delivery China achieving $15,500 for a one-year period.
Overall, a rather subdued end for the week. The only bright spark was from the US Gulf, which saw a strong rebound at the beginning with better levels of enquiry and tightness of prompt tonnage. Other areas within the basin remained at best stable but an increasing lack of fresh cargo saw rates put under downward pressure. From Asia, the week was slow to pick with limited fresh enquiry appearing in most quarters but as it closed, more enquiry was being seen. However, there still remained a good supply of tonnage. Period action was fairly sparse, but a 63,000-dwt open Continent fixed for minimum four months trading redelivery worldwide at $18,750. In the Atlantic, a 61,000 dwt fixed delivery SW Pass redelivery Far East at $35,000. Whilst a 62,000 dwt fixed a trip delivery US East Coast redelivery China at $31,500. In Asia, a 61,000 dwt open Japan fixed a NoPac round at $13,000. Further south, a 64,000 dwt open Singapore fixed a trip to India at $20,500 (scrubber benefit to owners).
Levels continued to improve in the South Atlantic, with a 36,000 dwt fixing from Rio Grande to Caldera at $26,000, whilst a 37,000 dwt was rumoured to have been fixed from North Brazil to Algeria with an intended cargo of grains at $21,000. The Mediterranean slowed as the week progressed with limited fresh cargo and suggestion that events in the region were also playing their part, a 36,000 dwt opening in Varna was fixed for a trip via Romania to the Continent at $14,000. On the Continent, a 40,000 dwt fixed from Bremen to the US East Coast with lumber at $16,650. In Asia, activity was subdued across the region and numbers had begun to soften, a 40,000 dwt opening in the Philippines was fixed via Indonesia to Malaysia at $12,750 whilst a 32,000 dwt opening in Brisban on 1 November was fixed to North China at $13,500. Period activity also remained, with a 38,000 dwt opening in Conakry fixing for four-to-six months with worldwide redelivery at $13,500.