Bulker Update by BMTI’s London Shipbroker (12 Aug 2020)

It’s been a quiet start to the week for the Capesizes. Some activity on trans-Atlantic routes and a re­stricted tonnage supply have kept rates steady from the North Atlantic. On the front haul market, bro­kers heard levels being discussed out of Brazil were showing some improvement despite brokers report­ing a lengthy list of ballasters but fixture details were not forthcoming. A long weekend in Singapore has seen a slower start to the week in the Pacific. Rates appear to have softened against the backdrop of low activity but brokers remained hopeful that more en­quiry will be forthcoming later in the week, West Australia to Qingdao was heard to have fixed in the low US$ 8s/mt for end August dates.

Pacific Panamaxes are still holding positive under the influence of Atlantic front haul grain exports. US Gulf and NoPac grain charterers continue to seek tonnage from the North Pacific area and ECSA and Black Sea charterers are sourcing vessels from South­east Asia with levels now being discussed in excess of US$ 14,000 daily for good spec Kamsarmaxes. This has tightened the tonnage supply and despite the delayed start to the week rates for Pacific rounds are also continuing to firm. An older 83,000 dwt fixed delivery South Korea for a NoPac round at US$ 13,400 daily. A 78,000 dwt was heard to have fixed delivery Taiwan for a trip via Indonesia redelivery India at circa US$ 13,500 daily DOP and a 2012-built, 81,000 dwt vessel was heard to have fixed for short period at US$ 13,750 daily delivery Kakinada with 1st leg Richards Bay to India. In the Atlantic the North remains super tight for tonnage and activity is driving rates ever higher, a well spec-ed 2019-built, 82,000 dwt ship fixed delivery Gibraltar for a trip via Baltic redelivery China at US$ 24,000 daily while a 2011-built, 83,000 dwt vessel open on the North Continent fixed a Baltic round at US$ 22,500 daily.

The strength of the Atlantic Panamax market has been pushing charterers into fixing Ultramaxes in­stead where possible or at least to have a conver­sation with the shippers. Also of note is the in­creased grain activity from the Black Sea, leading to firmer rate levels, particularly on the front haul trade. Such support is helping sentiment remain positive across the basin despite the US Gulf enquiry appear­ing to slow down. From the ECSA area, rates appear to be steady with the undertone firm as tonnage tightens for August dates. In the Pacific there is also a positive vibe with shipbrokers commenting on con­tinuing good enquiry levels. A Dolphin type 57,000 dwt vessel was heard to have fixed delivery Thailand for a trip with clinker to Bangladesh at US$ 6,750 daily. Good demand from India is drawing tonnage from Southeast Asia and rates remain firm. A 55,000 dwt was heard to have fixed delivery EC India for a trip to China with iron ore at circa US$ 15,000 daily.

The Pacific remains soft on the Handysizes, parti­cularly for the older spec vessels, but some brokers are sensing uplift on the horizon. A 28,000 dwt con­ceded to charterers at US$ 5,000 passing Busan for a trip via CIS redel South Korea and from Southeast Asia a 34,000 dwt open in Malaysia was rumoured to have fixed a trip redelivery Mediterranean at US$ 3,000 daily. A 32,000 dwt open in Southeast Asia was heard to have fixed US$ 6,500 daily for a round voyage. In the Atlantic, a well spec-ed 39,000 dwt open in Liverpool fixed at US$ 13,000 daily for a trip via Baltic with scrap redelivery Turkey. Rates from the US Gulf appear steady with a 39,000 dwt heard to have fixed US$ 11,300 daily for trip to the Med.

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