Grain activity from the ECSA and US Gulf is offering Panamaxes a glimmer of hope in the Atlantic but this has to be balanced against long tonnage lists overhanging in most areas for the second half of January. A 2018-built, 82,000 dwt was reportedly fixed on subs for a trip basis APS Trombetas for a bauxite trip to Aughinish at US$ 15,000 daily. A 2012-built 82,000 dwt fixed a TCT via USEC redel India at US$ 15,000 daily basis delivery Gibraltar. A 2015-built 82,000 dwt fixed delivery ECSA early February for a front haul at US$ 14,500 daily plus US$ 450,000 BB. From the Black Sea, a 2016-built, 81,000 dwt ship fixed delivery Port Said mid-January TCT via Black Sea and China redel Durban at US$ 10,000 per day. Somewhat of a stand-off in the Far East with some better demand from East Australia but Indonesia still largely giving only APS rates e.g. a 2019-built 81,000 dwt is rumoured to be on subs APS Indonesia TCT redelivery China at US$ 5,000 daily plus US$ 60,000 BB. Shipowners seem more willing to undertake speculative ballasts towards the ECSA.
Generally, the Supramax market seems to be bumping along the bottom. In the Pacific, some NoPac activity has been reported with an Ultramax fixing circa US$ 7,000 daily delivery passing Busan for a trip via NoPac redel Chittagong, but this will be long duration business and generally fixed accordingly. For lesser types, the market from the North remains challenging to say the least with very little steel cargo on the market, a Supramax is rumoured as fixing US$ 2,000 daily delivery North China for steels and generals for a trip to Male. Long tonnage lists in Southeast Asia are leaving charterers in control with a 55,000 dwt fixing high US$ 5,000s daily APS EC Kalimantan to Thailand while Campha/Bangladesh runs are going for similar numbers. A Tess 58 ship was rumoured as fixed for short period at middle US$ 6,000s for about 70-100 days. In the Atlantic, a 61,500 dwt has fixed delivery Iskenderun to Chittagong at US$ 14,500 daily whilst from the North Continent a 63,000 dwt rumoured on subs at US$ 21,000 for a TC trip via Baltic redelivery Southeast Asia. ECSA activity appears to be increasing but little news surfaced with respect to actual fixing.
As with the larger sizes, Handysizes are struggling to gain any traction ahead of Chinese New Year holidays. Brokers generally feel that any recovery prior to these holidays is now unlikely. In the Atlantic, Handysizes rating a Black Sea/Tunisia voyage business at time charter equivalent of US$ 4,000 daily. From the US Gulf, rates to Continent-Med direction are fixing circa US$ 9,000 daily with a 2018-built, 37,000 dwt reported as fixed at this number for US Gulf/UK-Continent with wood pellets. From the Far East little information is emerging but rates appear to be softer.
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