Handy Bulk Market Update (24 April 2019)

Handymax bulker dwtAfter Easter break, one can’t but conclude that still not much is going on. The market in general remains pretty disappointing without any immediate ray of hope. Even though some brokers report a flurry of activi­ty, others keep talking of a market trudging along. Indeed, the numbers talked and reported indeed suggest the latter. Off the Continent, Ultramaxes are being fixed in the low US$ 8,000s for a short local employment. The owners of a 56,000 dwt vessel have been seeing US$ 9,000 daily from scrap charterers for a trip to the East Med. Handy rates have been equally disenchanting with a 38,000 dwt booked for a Baltic round voyage with delivery Rotterdam at a rate of US$ 6,500 daily. The Black Sea remains a “graveyard” for the owners. Ultra-Supramax owners prefer to ballast away instead of taking front hauls of US$ 11-12,000 daily.

Grain charterers are linked with 30,000mt ex-Ukraine to GNS at US$ 16.5/mt, which equates to around US$ 4,500 daily from Canakkale. Ex-Casablanca, fertilizer charterers fixed 44,000mt at US$ 32/mt to South Korea, which is said to average US$ 13,800 daily.

shipThe US Gulf is not that exciting either. Trips to India are being paid US$ 19,000 daily on a 61,000 dwt with delivery Houston, whilst a 63,000 dwt vessel was taken for a trip to the Egypt Med at US$ 13,750 daily. For a trip to the Continent the rate is hovering at around US$ 12,000 daily on Ultramax tonnage. The ECSA remains the only market upon which everyone’s hope rests, but with all the other markets in the Atlantic pretty slow and unexciting, the market has very little rising potential with so many owners fo­cusing on the area, a sure downward lever. Thus, the rate gap between owners and charterers for a front haul is quite fairly wide, with charterers talking about US$13,000 daily plus US$ 300,000 BB versus owners’ US$ 14,000 daily plus US$ 400,000 BB. To close this gap seems almost impossible, until the owners recognize the need to act and start lowering their rate to reach a deal. From UpRiver to Riga, a 35,000mt grains cargo has been done at a rate of US$ 34/mt, which equals around US$ 11,000 daily. Handysize rates have been softening in the East, for instance with a 35,000 dwt ship recently done at US$ 7,500 daily for two laden legs. Further, from the Red Sea, a 32,000 dwt is rumoured as fixed in the low US$ 8,000s daily for a trip to India. Singapore charterers are rating 58,000 dwt tonnage at US$ 6,500 daily for the first 40 days and then US$ 10,750 thereafter for a 5-8 month period. Owners of a 54,000 dwt were lowering their rate for a NoPac RV from US$ 9,000 daily to US$ 8,500 daily. And for a trip from South Korea to the PG, tonnage of 56,000 dwt sees charterers aiming below US$ 8,000 daily. Furthermore, coal charterers have no intention to pay much more than US$ 7,500 daily on a 63,000 dwt vessel for a trip from S.Korea via CIS to China.

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