BMTI Bulker Market Viewpoint (23 May 2018)

Bulk CarrierA few indications of cargo rumblings in the UKC-Med on front hauls to the Far East are not enough to keep Capesize assessments from sliding to new lows of US$24,500 daily, losing almost US$ 3,000 on the first day of the week. Other rate losses aren’t quite as severe, but corrections have been coming hard and fast for owners who have little recourse but to accept terms that charterers are offering. Period charters are being more actively discussed with long term TCs going for mid-high teens of US$ 15-16,000 daily.

Derivatives traders note that Panamax FFAs for the Cal 19 contract are ‘technically bullish’ with levels approaching US$ 11,445, which would be over the 55-period average. Q3, meanwhile, is stuck in the US$11,615-11,880 range with little pressure on the top or the bottom budging levels. This is not dis­similar with what the physical market is doing at the moment, trending sideways amid very little market support, with traders mostly happy to agree to last-done levels when the odd offer arrives. Indonesia rounds remain prominent, at any rate, with Kamsar­maxes fixing over US$14,000 for Malaysia/S. China.

Handysize freights seem to be holding steady in the Atlantic despite a general lack of cargo demand and an over-tonnaged USG. Trips from the Continent to ECSA or USG and back, however, are still producing around US$ 7,500-8,000 daily on modern 28,000 dwt vessels, which is not great, but also not terrible for a functionally stagnant market. APS freights from the USG to UKC-Med via ECSA are fetching around US$ 12,000-12,500 daily on 42-46,000 dwt ships, but charterers are still applying pressure if possible.

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