Capesize cargo has predictably dried up in both basins, particularly in the Pacific, where a recent restocking drive into the Far East had fuelled some astronomical increases, in some cases to nine-year highs. Rates have been falling in response, but not as rapidly as might be expected, although day-on-day declines of US$ 800-900 on the front haul run (to settle in the high US$ 50,000s) is also rather dramatic. It is anyone’s guess when the slide will stop. With South America no longer the powerhouse it was last week, Atlantic Panamax rates have levelled out in the US$ 18-19,000 range on TARV basis. On the other hand, ECSA export demand is still rather vibrant and arguably still the most relevant source of new cargo demand in either basin, hence the dominance of ECSA deals on Kamsarmaxes to NoPac on round voyage basis. As such, 2LL can even secure upwards of US$ 21,000 DOP on Continental delivery, which isn’t too shabby considering such rates were looking fairly exotic just a few months ago.
Handy bulk rates have been surprisingly stable—all things considered—with diversity in demand and flexibility of purpose to keep owners busy enough and charterers nervous enough to keep cargoes coming on. Black Sea Supra front hauls have even started to recover ever so slightly toward US$ 28,000.
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