May Day holidays across much of the western world have taken a significant toll on the bulk carrier trade with meagre four fixtures have been available to report at midweek as market players take a break from the day-to-day bulker business. Capesizes, for their part, continue to trend downward, if the Baltic Exchange’s assessments are any indication. Continental front hauls are possibly the most bearish run at the moment with more than US$ 500 off the assessment, following a few previous days of similar losses, threatening the UKC/CJK run with a level of US$ 31,000 daily before the week is through. TARV rates, meanwhile, slip to US$ 19,000 daily amid talk that US$ 18,000 daily has already been done. But who knows? Perhaps activity will bounce back yet this week when traders get back to business today.
Apart from a handful of Atlantic-based long hauls, Panamax business has stalled along with the rest of the bulker sector, leaving some of the positive momentum gathered last week to fade slightly in the East. UKC-Med trips to South America and back are getting rates in the US$ 10,000 vicinity on Kamsarmax ships. Pacific-based sentiment is still moving in a positive direction, albeit very slowly. Pacific rounds are rumoured to have concluded US$ 11,000 daily.
Trends are solidly in place for the smaller bulkers as little in the way of change is perceived in the East or West as the month of May begins with anticipation. Indo rounds from South China to ECI are still modestly buoyant as US$ 11,000 daily is reached on the assessment for Tess 58 ships. Negative pressure, soft it may be, remains on the USG front hauls, which drift in the US$ 21-22,000 daily range on Ultramax ships with South China redel. Pacific rounds are fixing up to US$ 12,000 via Australia, but charterers have been having some luck with the US$ 11,000s.