Dry Bulk Market Faces Volatility As Seasonal Lulls And Geopolitical Factors Impact Rates


The dry bulk market is experiencing significant volatility across all vessel segments. Capesize rates are fluctuating with declining volumes from West Australia and the Pacific, while there is some activity from Brazil and West Africa. Panamax vessels are witnessing weakening rates due to a lack of demand, particularly for long-haul trips, with coal and grain shipments remaining subdued. Supramax markets are quiet across all basins, with insufficient cargo volumes and ample tonnage exerting downward pressure on rates. Seasonal factors such as the monsoon season in India and potential summer lulls are expected to further impact activity levels and market sentiment, reports Fernleys.


On the West Australia front, we see a drop in overall volume in the market as we approach mid-week with inquiries from miners, some operators, and limited tenders for primarily the second half of July dates. Volumes out of East Australia and other Pacific businesses have dwindled. On C3 ex Brazil to China, we still see some inquiries for late July and split dates with the majority of inquiries for forward August dates. West Africa volumes are relatively flat from last week with enquiries for late July and early August dates. Far East spot tonnage is increasingly abundant. Ballasting tonnage remains extremely tight for any July dates but heavy for the first half of August dates. On C5, we see fixtures concluding at high USD 10 pmt levels by mid-week. On C3, fixtures were heard concluding at USD 30+ pmt levels for July dates. For August, we see resistance between charterers to bid up to owners’ ideas.


The Panamax market is experiencing weakness, particularly in the Atlantic. Rates are eroding due to a lack of demand, especially for longer round trips. While fundamental indicators suggest potential growth in the second half of the year, the current market lacks support. Coal markets have softened, and grain activity from South America remains subdued. Owners are willing to discount rates to secure coverage before a potential summer lull. Overall sentiment is bearish, with expectations of further rate declines in the near term.


Very little to report as markets across basins remain quiet. Markets remain under pressure due to a lack of cargo volumes. ECSA saw little activity end of last week and early this week which was promptly covered tick below last done levels. A similar story to report on West Africa stems. Lack of cargo volumes coupled with ample tonnage in position driving the pattern. In the Indian Ocean region, the usual sulfur, salt, and aggregates cargoes are out in the market, but all covered up. With the monsoon season hitting the Western coast of India, we expect less activity in the region for the next 2 months. Limited cargo activity in the Pacific region as well. On the period side, no fresh inquiries, and rates remain very high hovering around 18k levels for longer periods. Hopefully, the grain season in the Atlantic will pick up in the coming weeks and possibly bring in some well-needed push in the freight markets.

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Source: Fernleys