Capesize, Panamax, And Supramax Segments Grapple with Market Dynamics


In the Capesize market, steady volumes persist, particularly in C5, with fixtures concluding at mid to high USD levels. Panamax encounters challenges in both the Atlantic and Pacific basins, with increased tonnage causing downward pressure and a lack of clear market direction. The Supramax market experiences volatility, driven by FFA directions, and faces uncertainties due to weak Far Eastern markets and decreased cargo flow in the USG. Despite improvements in ECSA, the overall sentiment remains uncertain, reports Fearnleys.


On the C5 front, we see volumes holding up from miners and operators alike. Inquiries are primarily for mid to late February dates and several for early March forward dates. On the East Australia coal front, volume has been dampened with a slight rise at the start of the week. In South African and Indian businesses, we see a limited increase in inquiries. On C3 ex Brazil to China and West Africa, we see operators present for the second half of February and March dates. Far East tonnage is moderately abundant while ballasting tonnage weighs heavily on the second half of February. On C5, we see fixtures concluding at high USD 7 pmt to USD 8 pmt levels by mid-week. On C3, we see some concluding at mid to high USD 20 pmt levels. On the period front, we see a fixture of a scrubber 207k dwt, 2012-built, for 1 year at USD 29,000 per day.


The Panamax market is currently strained, with the Atlantic and Pacific basins facing challenges. In the Atlantic, increased tonnage and competitive rates are causing downward pressure, while optimism from EC South America is waning. The Pacific market is sluggish, with low rates for Australian and NOPAC voyages leading vessels to seek alternatives. This situation is affecting market sentiment, though the period market remains active as players look to secure positions for 2024. The overall market lacks clear direction, with a need for increased activity to stabilize rates.


The sentiment on the Supra market is very volatile and driven mainly by FFA directions. We need stability and a firm spot market to justify owners’ expectations. The lack of cargo flow in the USG, and the weak Far Eastern market results in an overall uncertain market direction. The rates in USG dropped to USD 25,000 pd for trips to Singapore-Japan, and around USD 15,000 pd for transatlantic trade. ECSA market improved from previous weeks with fixtures reported better than last done. Nice Ultra 63,000 dwt, built in 2019, was fixed at USD 18,000 pd plus 800,000 GBB delivery Santos with grain cargo redelivery Chittagong.

The Black Sea and Mediterranean markets are paying premiums due to the lack of tonnage driven by the present situation of the Red Sea and Suez Canal. The trips to the Far East paid around USD 26,000 pd, and clinker across from the Mediterranean to West Africa improved substantially, with owners demanding above USD 20,000 pd compared to low-mid USD 10,000 pd from the previous week.

The market in the Far East remained unexcited, sideways, and bearish. Period rates asked by owners are much more optimistic based on FFA support; however, they are discouraged by spot rates.

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Source: Fearnleys