Handy Bulk Market Overview (12 May 2020)

Ultramax at sunsetCovid-19 is keeping the market under tight control and only in the East-Indian Ocean range is the virus loosening its grip. Rates seem to be improving with Ultramax tonnage fixable at US$ 6,500-7,000 daily for NoPac rounds. CIS charterers have also raised their ideas to US$ 4,500 daily on Supramax tonnage with delivery Japan via CIS to Vietnam. And from the EC India area, freight rates have increased to US$8,500-9,000 daily on tonnage of 56,000 dwt for a trip to China. An Australian round voyage was done at US$ 4,000 daily on tonnage of 32,000 dwt. As expected, rates have also gone up from South Africa with owners of a Tess 58 holding US$ 9,000 daily plus US$ 90,000 BB for front haul to China. The owners have multi­ple choices including US$ 8,000 daily plus US$ 80,000 BB to ECI. It is therefore understandable for the owners to wait and see and monitor the market.

From West Africa, tonnage of 57,000 dwt was fixed to Singapore-Japan at US$ 10,000 daily, reflecting the weak ECSA market. The Atlantic basin is far from such a similar market change. Off the Continent, a 56,000 dwt was traded into West Africa in the low US$ 5,000s range. Ultramax tonnage was booked for a front haul run at around US$ 10,500 daily. Front haul rates do not appear to be going up from the Black Sea. A Tess 58 vessel got covered at US$ 13,500 daily for this run. Ultramax rates from the East Med to West Africa are down to US$ 6,000 daily. Grain charterers expect 35,000mt ex-Chorno­morsk to ARA to be covered at US$ 10/mt.

A 56,000 dwt open West Med found charterers at US$ 4,000 daily from Canakkale via the Black Sea to the Continent. From the ECSA, salt charterers have taken a 34,000 dwt in the low US$ 4,000s daily for a trip from North to South Brazil. From Plate to Brazil, grain charterers have fixed a similar size ship at about US$ 5,500 daily. For a front haul, LME tonnage was tied up at US$ 11,000 daily plus US$ 110,000 BB. The US Gulf-NCSA area is just a total disaster. Kam­sarmax tonnage appears to be unable to compete with Ultramax tonnage for a trip from the NCSA to the Continent. Kamsarmax rates have been hovering at US$ 5,500 daily whilst Ultramaxes are US$ 1,000 daily cheaper. Last but not least, charterers continue taking Kamsarmax tonnage in the East for loading at ECSA at levels of around US$ 8,570-9,750 daily.

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