The low number of fixtures reported is self-explanatory. The deadlocked situation is the market’s latest variant. The charterers currently feel less inclined than the owners to move. If the shipowners are invited to make a move, they often come up with ridiculous numbers for fear that a more reasonable number would be quickly outdated. Fertilizer brokers report about their clients’ traders complaining about the higher than calculated fixtures done by their shipping department. There is no marketplace where owners are facing losses, unheard of in the last decade. From the Red Sea, the owners of a 35,000 dwt were seeing US$ 25,000 for 4-6 months of trading, whilst talking US$ 34,000 daily.
Grain brokers expect ECSA front haul rates to move to US$ 24,000 daily plus US$ 1,400,000 BB and anticipate for August a rate of US$ 26,000 daily plus US$ 1,600,000 BB. And what to do, when the owners want the equivalent of US$ 55,000 for August shipment for 30,000mt of grains from the Black Sea to West Africa, which today should be in the low US$ 30,000s. Can one really expect the market to move for this type of tonnage beyond US$ 50,000 daily for this trade within a period of six weeks? There have been rumours of two Supramaxes having been fixed at US$ 39-40,000 daily for a front haul trip, which isn’t surprising at all, seeing numbers from Red Sea for this size of tonnage risen to beyond US$ 50,000 daily for a trip to India. Furthermore, the Handysize owners of 36-38,000 dwt are said to be talking US$ 37-38,000 daily for a trip to the East.
Last week’s Handysize numbers from the Med-Black Sea area also suggest that there seems more to come. A rate of US$ 30,500 daily on a 33,000 dwt ship for a trip from Canakkale via Black Sea to St. Lawrence is the result of limited interest by owners in general to consider the St. Lawrence. And the one to go for it is getting a premium. Even the 28,000 dwt vessels are said to be getting rates in the low US$ 20,000s daily for Black Sea-Mediterranean area trading. Handysize numbers are also up in the East and are edging towards US$ 30,000 daily for back haul trips to the Atlantic, whilst actual numbers being fixed are still below this level. A 57,000 dwt vessel was taken for a trip from the CJK area to the US Gulf at rate of US$ 27,000 daily. The owners of a 33,000 dwt ship open Columbia River have been holding out for a level of US$ 30,000 daily for a short period.
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