BMTI’s Continental Broker: Handy Bulk Viewpoint (30 May 2018)

The summer lull is spreading all over the Atlantic market with the exception of the Continent-Med area, which is still pretty stable with rates holding or even improving for some trades. Scrap charterers had to agree to US$ 12,500 daily on a 57,000 dwt ship for a trip to the East Med. The US$ 15,000 daily agreed on a TESS 58,000 last week for a front haul run is low in comparison, but finds its explanation in that the owners’ option for a front haul was next to non-existent and thus they had to bite the bullet. Fertilizer charterers were seeing tonnage of 55,000 dwt at US$ 11,000 daily for a trip to Nigeria.

Handysize tonnage is getting more expensive with owners of 33-36,000 dwt talking US$ 12,000 daily to the Mediterranean versus the charterers’ rate of US$ 10,000-10,500 daily. The Black Sea is still con­sidered by some players to be an okay market with 33-36,000 dwt fixable at US$ 7,500 daily for trips back to the Continent, which considering the sum­mer lull, is considered not bad at all. Front haul for Supras is still hovering around US$ 15,000 daily. A good number of early unfixed vessels remains the major issue in the NCSA-USG area. From WCSA, a major trading house decided to put in their own tonnage to cover a cargo to the Med for which spot market tonnage was offered at US$ 14-15,000 daily. Trading from the Brazil is hampered by the truck drivers’ strike. Cargoes are not getting in an out of the ports. Bunker supply is being affected as well. Thus, tonnage of 34,000 dwt has been traded at US$ 9,000-10,000 daily for a trip to the Continent-Med. Owners of a 57,000 dwt were talking US$ 13,000 daily plus US$ 300,000 BB for a trip to Chittagong, which is a true reflection of the market’s poor state.

The East is a rough patch for spot tonnage, with hardly any fixable cargo around. Clinker charterers were bidding 35,000 dwt tonnage US$ 8,500 daily for a trip to P.I., but decided instead to go for larger tonnage. Owners of a 35,000 dwt vessel failed to attract charterers at US$ 10,000 daily for 2-3 laden legs with spot delivery in China, and an owner of a 32,000 dwt vessel wants a rate of US$ 9,500 daily for a trip to Southeast Asia. Prospects seem to have improved for June loaders for which several cargoes have already been emerging and thus supporting owners’ stance not to back down yet.

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