The East Coast South America market continued to be the focal point in the dry bulk segment for the past week or so. A slow-down in activity in the region lead to a slight decline in the PMAX market with trips to the Far East from ECSA being rated (on an APS basis) around the mid $10,000s/day range with a ballast bonus of $ 500,000. The North Atlantic market held up compared to last week with steady enquiries and shrivelled tonnage lists. The Pacific basin was busy with healthy numbers being paid as a round voyage for a KMAX opening in Korea to the North Pacific region was being rated in the mid $8,000s/day range.
Activity in the voyage charter business picked up w-o-w as demand for Australian coking coal from by Indian steelmakers firmed up. As owners still preferred to ballast to the ECSA region supply of tonnage was slightly tight. Hence, PMAX vessels on a DOP basis opening in North China heading from Australia to China and Australia to India traded around the low $8,000s/day range (up by $1000s/day w-o-w). Lower Indonesian coal prices due to the Chinese import ban coupled with a predicted increase in coal burn for utilities triggered a number of traders to book cargoes for late July and early August. As a result, PMAX vessels on a DOP basis opening in South China heading from Indonesia to China were assessed higher around the high $8,000s/day range.
The SMAX market strengthened w-o-w as activity in the US Gulf and ECSA region picked up yet again. Grain flows from the Black Sea to the Middle East were plentiful as well. A NOPAC round voyage for a SMAX was rated higher compared to last week, as a vessel on a DOP basis opening in the CJK area achieved about low $8,000s/day. Steel demand decreased w-o-w as trips to India from Korea basis North China delivery for a SMAX paid around high $6,000s/day and low $4,000s/day to SKAW-CONT from Korea basis CJK delivery.
Nickel ore flows led the way in the Pacific basin yet again. A SMAX on a DOP basis opening in North China heading from Philippines to China traded around in the high $8,5000s/day range. Although spot coal cargoes from Indonesia seemed to be fewer, healthy business in the South East Asian region kept the supply of tonnage limited. Consequently, A SMAX vessel for coal on a DOP basis opening in the Singapore range heading from Indonesia to China was in the high $6,000s/day range.
Coal flows from Indonesia to India were steady w-o-w as SMAX vessels of coal on a DOP basis opening in Singapore heading from Indonesia to India are being rated in the mid $8,000s/day range.
The market in the Indian Ocean was quite active compared to last week on the back of phosphate and limestone demand from the Persian Gulf to India. Coal flows from RBCT to India/ Pakistan disappointed yet again but support from the ECSA market nullified its weakening impact. SMAX vessels on a DOP basis opening in ECI/WCI for the RBCT to India coal route are in the mid $6,000s/day range, while the PG to India route is currently around the high $8,000s/day range. PMAX vessels on a DOP basis opening in ECI/WCI doing the RBCT to India route are around the low $9,000s/day range.