The Easter holidays have dinged cargo demand in the North Sea and Baltic Sea trades, although not as seriously as they might have in years past. All things considered, even with the slowing around the long holiday weekend, freights and sentiment have been rather steady with even some routes showing minor gains over last-done. On the whole, however, freight levels are cruising sideways at last-done with charterers content to meet owners at their recently-won highs with owners themselves having less success in getting anything higher now than they were getting in March.
We did see a peak of sorts reached at the end of March, but there are not many signs of cargo demand reversing just yet. If anything, cargo and tonnage have reached a sort of uneasy balance with each side of the charter party willing to accept terms as they are. There has been some modest improvement seen in northbound rates to Ireland from the Spanish Med with freights in the range of EUR 32-33/mt reported on general cargoes of 5,000mt. New westward bound freights from the Baltic States to ARAG continue to hover in the low EUR 30s/mt. Owners are largely positive about prospects in Q2.
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