Following the holidays, activity increased in both the Pacific and Atlantic Basins. The 5TC average rallied, closing at $8,596, up $1,972 from last week. Major miners out of Western Australia were active all week supporting and lifting freight rates. The C5 is now fixing at over $6.00, with unconfirmed talk of $6.40 concluded. Earlier in the week the ‘Maran Harmony’ (180,391dwt, 2010) open CJK fixed a West Australia round voyage at over $10,000, with some period tonnage fixed in the $17,000s for 12 months. The ‘Anangel Happiness’ (177,720dwt, 2008) prompt in Ijmuiden, fixed a Colombian round voyage at $10,500 for 45 days. There were rumours of Trafigura fixing $14 for Sudeste to Qingdao loading mid-May, with Seven Island to Oita being fixed at around $13.85 by Rio.
Easter holidays impacted the market last week, with only minor movements in the index. Baltic mineral trades were very active, so too were South American fronthaul grains. For modern Kamsarmaxes, rates again creeped up slightly to around $15,500 plus $550,000 ballast bonus. Activity elsewhere was limited, but sources said this had been offset by tight tonnage supply in the North Atlantic. In the Pacific, the North started brightly, with charterers concentrating on bigger units. However, Southeast Asia was the week’s driving force, especially for smaller Panamax vessels which saw a large volume of fixing. The recently busy period market seemed to slow down as the week went on, however, a Post Panamax went for five to eight months at $13,000 basis delivery/redelivery in the Atlantic.
A story of two halves, with the Asian basin gaining ground, whilst in the Atlantic some areas lacked fresh impetus. Period activity remained sparse, but a 63,000dwt vessel open Japan fixed for a short period at around $11,000. The US Gulf traded sideways, with Ultramax vessels seeing in the mid–upper $12,000s for trans-Atlantic grain runs. East Coast South America remained finely balanced, a 56,000-tonner fixing in the mid $12,000s, delivery Recalada, for a trip to Egypt. Asia fared better, with a 61,000dwt ship open Kaohsiung, fixing a trip via Indonesia, redelivery in the Arabian Gulf, at $11,500. A 54,000dwt vessel open Gresik fixed via Australia, redelivery China, in the mid $12,000s. Activity remained from the Indian Ocean, a 61,000-tonner fixing delivery South Africa trip to the Far East at $12,000 plus $200,000 ballast bonus. Furthermore, a 56,000dwt ship fixed delivery Mumbai trip via West Coast India, redelivery Chittagong with a clean cargo, in the upper $8,000s.
It was a flat week in the Handysize sector, reflected on the Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI) moving very little overall. Limited period activity surfaced, but a 35,000dwt vessel open Kaohsiung, was fixed for 10 to 13 months trading, excluding the Gulf of Aden transit, in the low to mid $9,000s. From the Atlantic, East Coast South America lacked fresh impetus and rates struggled according to brokers. It was a similar scenario in other areas, including the Mediterranean and the Continent. A 33,000dwt ship was fixed for a grain run from Rouen to Algeria at $7,400. From North Coast South America, a 34,000-tonner was fixed delivery Fazendinha, early May dates, for a trip to Norway at $11,000. The Asian arena remained finely balanced, with a Chinese controlled 38,000dwt vessel open Southeast Asia fixed a Pacific round at $9,000, while a 38,000dwt ship open Singapore fixed a trip to East Coast India in the mid $5,000s. With widespread holidays coming up it will be interesting to see the moves.
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