Capesize Market Fluctuates Amid Pacific Slowdown And Atlantic Surge



The Capesize’s had a slow start due to holidays in Asia, leading to subdued activity. Early in the week, the Pacific was quieter, with limited trading, leading to a slight dip in the C5 index and the BCI 5TC. The South Brazil and West Africa to China markets initially saw positive sentiment with a significant tightening of tonnage in ballast. As the week progressed, there was a decline in activity in the Pacific, particularly due to a shortage of coal cargoes from East Coast Australia. This led to a further drop in the C5 index and a further decline in the BCI 5TC. However, the Atlantic market experienced a rise in cargo demand, and by Wednesday, several tender cargoes emerged, offering some support. A surge of fixtures occurred late in the day, particularly from South Brazil and West Africa to the Far East, leading to a very bullish market on Thursday. This activity caused substantial increases in the BCI 5TC by $2,144 and the C3 index, with the latter soaring by $1.42 to reach $26.55. As the week comes to a close, a notable gap between bids and offers in the Atlantic has resulted in reduced market activity. This imbalance has also adversely affected the Pacific market, leading to a downturn. Consequently, the BCI 5TC has decreased by $227, finishing the week at $24,525.


The Panamax market encountered significant rises this week. A strong demand push in the Atlantic was for the most part grain centric with decent levels of support found in both the North and South Americas particularly for first half July arrival dates. Interestingly despite making big gains, the trans-Atlantic returned a two-tiered market with mineral business trading at a discount to the grain runs especially ex US East Coast and St Lawrence, where committed tonnage continued at heavily discount rates. An 82,000-dwt delivery Gibraltar agreed to a rate of $18,000 for a grain trip via North Coast South America redelivery Skaw-Gibraltar whilst reports of a voyage cargo fixed ex St Lawrence to Continent at a timecharter equivalent of $8,000 highlighting well the wide discrepancy. Indonesia coal demand appeared the main driver for the Pacific this week with plentiful activity and with an improving East Coast South America market, the South remained well supported.


A story of two halves became evident as the week progressed. The Atlantic gained traction through out mainly led from the North Atlantic with better levels of fresh enquiry and limited prompt tonnage. A 63,000-dwt fixing from US East Coast to West Coast India in the upper $20,000s From the South Atlantic the upward curve was slightly more sedate but still stronger numbers were being discussed.  A 56,000-dwt fixed delivery East Coast South America for a trip to the central Mediterranean in the mid $20,000s. That being said, the Asian arena struggled, brokers spoke of little fresh cargo from South East Asia and little excitement from North Pacific and Australasia adding to owners’ woes. An Ultramax was heard fixed basis delivery Hong Kong for a trip via Indonesia redelivery Vietnam at $15,000. Further north, a 63,000-dwt open North China fixed a North Pacific round in the upper $15,000s. The Indian Ocean also lacked much fresh impetus although a 61,000-dwt fixed a trip delivery Port Elizabeth redelivery China at $21,000 plus $210,000 ballast bonus.


A week of change across both basins as the Handysize market saw a new breath of life breathed into the US Gulf with a 38,000-dwt fixing basis Southwest Passage for two to three laden legs with a minimum of 75 days duration to Singapore-Japan at $16,850 whilst a 39,000-dwt fixed from Tampico via the US to Morocco with a cargo of coal at $15,000. The Mediterranean similarly saw improvements with a 38,000-dwt fixing from Damietta to the South Atlantic with Steels at $8,000  whilst a 34,000-dwt was rumored to have fixed from Antalya to the US Gulf with steels in the $8,000’s. In Asia, activity was muted with holidays and a lack of fresh enquiry in general, a 37,000-dwt fixed from Mikawa to South East Asia with a cargo of steel slabs at $11,500 whilst an open hatched boxed shaped 33,000-dwt was fixed from Ichihara to West Coast India to Arabian Gulf at $16,500.

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Source: balticexchange