From the Desk of a Continental Broker: The solidity of the markets’ performance is unquestionable. Panamaxes are leading the way. Encouragingly, charterers continue to take tonnage from the East with a most recent peak of US$ 17,000 daily done from Mumbai area via ECSA to the East. Capers are less fortunate with rates declining. But talking in more general terms, sentiment remains unclouded. Off the Continent, scrap charterers were bidding a rate of US$ 14,500 daily for a 57,000 dwt on a trip to the East, which isn’t great, whilst ice-classed tonnage of 56-58,000 dwt vessel was being bid US$ 15,000 daily from Gibraltar via the Russian Baltic back to the Med, which is better. A Rouen/Algeria voyage for 30,000mt was rumoured as done at US$ 19/mt and equates to around US$ 10,500 daily including 450 miles of ballast to the loading port.
The Black Sea is short of Ultra-Supra vessels willing going east of Suez. But the rate structure is hardly affected with Supra tonnage worth around US$ 18-19,000 daily whilst Ultramaxes are worth around US$ 21-22,000 daily. The US Gulf is in a bit of a downward spiral. After a front haul trip on Ultramax tonnage was done at US$ 23,000 daily thence US$ 22,000 daily and US$ 20,500 daily respectively and now US$ 19,500 daily—which seems to have failed, however. A 58,000 dwt was booked at US$ 21,000 daily to WCSA, not good at all in comparison with earlier fixtures done. In line with it, Handies have also been dragged down with 32-34,000 dwt worth just about US$ 13-13,500 daily for a trip across the Atlantic or US$ 14,500 for the larger 36-38,000 dwt vessels, respectively Further, a trip to the West Coast pays around US$ 16-17,000 daily, depending on the vessel or whether charterers are jitterbugs.
In the ECSA, Ultramax tonnage has been in the limelight with Raffles surpassing everyone by booking an Ultra at US$ 15,750 daily plus US$ 575,000 BB to load sugar to the East. T/A rates for Supra tonnage are hovering at around US$ 17,500 daily whilst for front haul a rate of US$ 14,000 daily plus US$ 400,000 BB seems to have been agreed. In contrast, it has been very quiet on the Handy front. There appears to be no let up in the East where the owners of 28,000 dwt tonnage want US$ 10,500 for a trip from north China to India, or coal charterers rating a 37,000 dwt at US$ 10,000 daily for a quick 15-20 day employment ending Japan-Korea range.
The Red Sea has developed into the most intriguing market where every charterer risks to take a beating. Casillo has now increased its cargo size to 40-45,000mt, suiting an Ultramax-Supramax, but with the lack of tonnage in the area, the headaches to cover this cargo are unlikely to disappear soon.
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