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Dry Bulk Market – Challenging Week for Capesizes : Baltic Exchange

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LONDON : The capesize market started the week on a sluggish note with the PPA conference in Perth creating a quieter atmosphere, leading to reduced trading volumes in the Pacific and a softening of rates. Despite some stabilisation in conditions midweek, the Pacific market remained uninspiring with limited activity and rates on the C5 route dipped. However, as the week drew to a close, there was a slight uptick in volumes and rates on C5 have nudged back up by 45 to 50 cents. In the Atlantic, conditions experienced a slight downturn in the early part of the week from South Brazil to West Africa and the Far East. However, towards the end of the week, brokers have reported a positive shift in the market, with bids on the rise, leading to a minor rally. The North Atlantic showed a favourable outlook towards the end of the week, with stronger front haul fixtures concluded and expectations of an uptick in the Trans-Atlantic market due to tight tonnage supply. Overall, it was a challenging week for the capsize market, with brief moments of stability that ultimately culminated in a modest rally as the week drew to a close. The BCI 5TC gained about $350 over the week, closing at $17,690.


A rather protracted affair as the week started with limited demand in both basins. However, as the week came to a close, increased mineral demand saw increased activity in the North Atlantic, which offered support. A slight caveat being limited fresh enquiry appearing from the South Atlantic adding further downward pressure on ballasting vessels. An 81,000 dwt fixing delivery Passing Muscat for a trip via EC South America redelivery Passing Muscat Outbound at $13,500. From Asia, it was a mixed bag with little enquiry to begin as rates struggled to gain traction. Towards the end of proceedings, there was a slight improvement on demand but with little excitement from South America, any rate increase was limited. An 82,000 dwt fixed delivery Philippines for a trip via Indonesia redelivery India at $11,800. Period action was limited but an 81,000 dwt open January 2024 was heard to have been fixed for 12 months trading in the mid $15,000s.


A poor week overall for the sector as demand remained low in both basins. The only upside was seen in the Atlantic from the US Gulf were fresh enquiry combined with a shortage of tonnage saw rates push up. A 63,000 dwt delivery US Gulf trip to India with petcoke at $33,750. Elsewhere in the Mediterranean/Continent region, opinions differed but some felt fresh demand was surfacing. In Asia, with very little fresh demand from both the north and south, sentiment remained poor. A 58,000 dwt open North China fixing a trip via Indonesia to SE Asia in the mid $8,000s, whilst a 56,000 dwt open Philippines fixed a trip via Indonesia redelivery Thailand at $9,000. Limited demand was seen from the Indian Ocean, but a 63,000 dwt reportedly fixed delivery South Africa redelivery China at $18,500 plus $185,000 ballast bonus. Little was heard on the period front, with a 60,000 dwt open Singapore fixed for a period up to minimum 10 November 2024/maximum 10 January 2025 at $12,500.


A week of general negativity across the handy sector with limited cargo availability and growing tonnage lists across both basins. The lone region of positivity was in the US Gulf and US East Coast where tonnage was said to be limited, with a 35,000 dwt fixed for a trip from Panama City to the UK-Continent range at $20,000. In the South Atlantic, pressure remained on owners and a 39,000 dwt was rumoured to have been fixed basis delivery Upriver Plate to the Caribbean at $16,000 whilst a 38,000 dwt was fixed from Santos to Morocco with a cargo of sugar at $15,000. The Continent and Mediterranean were said to have been relatively inactive partially due to widespread holidays across Europe this week. In Asia, activity was stifled due to a lack of cargo availability and a 38,000 dwt was fixed from Singapore via Dampier to Taipei with a cargo of salt at $7,000 and shows signs of continued negativity in the coming days.

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