BMTI’s London Correspondent (05 Feb 2020)

Spot and forward rates for the Capesizes continue to fall on the negative news surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. Tonnage is inevitably building up, one broker reporting 30+ vessels at Port Hedland with 14 day quarantine restrictions imposed on vessels coming from China. Increasing congestion at discharge ports also noted due to supply chain disruption. On the spot it has been reported West Australia/Qingdao has broken the US$ 6/mt resistance with FMG and Rio Tinto fixing at US$ 5.95/mt for second half February. The Atlantic has seen low activity so far this week with numbers still falling. On the key Tubarao/China run rates were reckoned to now be circa mid/high US$ 14s/mt. Charterers also scanning the market for owners wanting some forward cover and it is rumoured a 175,000dwt built 2011 has fixed 1 years period in the high US$ 12,000s daily rumoured to be to Rio Tinto.

With Panamax rates continuing to fall in both the Atlantic and Pacific there is not much optimism around right now. Hopes of any revival seem to be over reliant upon ECSA grain cargoes. Whilst this year’s soybean crop is expected to be good the harvest looks to be delayed so right now brokers are looking to end February/beginning March for any sizeable increase in export cargoes. So pressure remains and for mid February laycan a 92,000dwt has fixed US$ 13,000 plus US$ 300,000 BB for a trip APS Brazil redel SE Asia. Charterers looking to cover an ECSA first half March position have taken a 77,000dwt built 2004 delivery Singapore early February dates at US$ mid 5,000s per day. As can be deduced rates from Indonesia remain poor. An 80,000dwt built 2011 fixed passing Singapore via Indonesia redel India at a lowly US$ 1,250 daily and an 81,500dwt built 2012 took US$ 4,000 per day basis APS Indonesia for a trip to Malaysia.

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