BMTI’s Continental Broker — Handy Bulk Viewpoint (12 July 2018)

handysize 185The chartering community is closely watching the upward rally in the Black Sea area. Charterers were bidding Ultramaxes US$19,000 daily versus owners testing number of US$ 22,000 daily. Given this, one wonders where this development might lead to. Based on a steady demand, rate levels could reach US$ 30,000 daily, which then in turn would attract ballasters from North Africa and Red Sea, to name just a few areas. Inevitably other areas will benefit such as Continent from where charterers need to pay rates stopping owners from ballasting straight to the Med, which is only a couple of days away. It can be taken for granted that the next reported front haul fixture will be above US$ 20,000 daily. Grain rates to Saudi Arabia for 60,000mt are likely head towards US$ 25/mt. In sharp contrast Supra tonnage can still be fixed at US$ 6,500 daily for a trip to the US Gulf.

From ECSA Ultramax tonnage was traded around US$ 12,500-13,000 daily for a trip to the US Gulf. Supramax rates to the Continent-Med are still dis­appointingly weak hovering at around US$ 13,000 daily. The front haul runs have been done at rates of around US$ 14,500 daily plus US$ 450,000 BB for Ultramaxes. Tonnage of 35,000dwt has been offered US$ 10,000 daily from North Brazil to the Baltic. From the USG, the Centurion fixture at US$ 20,750 daily to WCCA, if correctly reported, looks like a promising figure and looks as if the market is in the process of changing direction for Ultra-Supramax tonnage. Handysizes are more difficult to cover with tonnage ballasting from the USEC to the US Gulf.

The market in the East has taken a painful direction for owners with nickel ore charterers getting away with rates below US$ 10,000, which is very disturb­ing. Ultramaxes were traded at around US$ 12,500-13,000 for 4-6 months trading with a lower rate for the first 30 days to reflect the poor spot market. Handysizes are holding steady whilst owners’ bull­ishness is met with calm by charterers. Despite sev­eral owners holding out for US$ 10,500-11,000 for a NoPac RV there is always the possibility to find tonnage of 33-36,000 dwt below US$ 10,000 as happened. CIS charterers were seeing 37,000 dwt at US$ 9,500 daily from North China via CIS to P.I.

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