The 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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