Although the Capesize market ended on a depressing note w-o-w, the rest of the Dry Bulk market had a positive vibe with the North Atlantic market and East Coast South America (ECSA) firming up on the back of improved exports. Trips to the Far East from ECSA were booked on an APS basis and rated around the high $9,000s/day and an improved ballast bonus of close to $500,000. The rate for a round voyage for a KMAX opening in the Japan-Korea range to the North Pacific region was around the low $8,000s/day range.
The pace of business in the Pacific basin was not as swift as compared to the Atlantic. Bidding interest in the period market was much more pronounced than the spot market. However this did assist in improving overall sentiment amongst the Owners in the region. PMAX vessels on a DOP basis opening in North China heading from Australia to China and Australia to India were around the mid $6,000s/day and high $6,000s/day range. Rising mercury levels and low water levels (reduction in hydro output) have increased demand for thermal coal-based power in China. Market participants feel that this could further increase Chinese coal imports in the coming months. A PMAX vessel on a DOP basis opening in South China heading from Indonesia to China was rated around the mid $6,000s/day range.
The SMAX market followed suit in both basins, with period activity higher w-o-w. The Med – CONT market came off w-o-w owing to increased tonnage supply. A Pacific round voyage for a SMAX vessel on a DOP basis opening in the CJK area achieved about mid $7,000s/day. Steel trips to India from Korea basis North China delivery for a SMAX paid around high $6,000s/day and high $3,000s/day to SKAW-CONT from Korea basis CJK delivery.
Increased Chinese demand for Nickel Ore and Coal (due to lower projected hydro power numbers) lent support to the Pacific Basin in the past week or so. Nickel ore trading was still active this week with a 50,000-dwt delivery in mid China fixing at $7,200 daily and a 61,000-dwt delivery south China fixing at $9,000 daily for loading in the Philippines to China. A SMAX vessel for coal on a DOP basis opening in the Singapore range heading from Indonesia to China was in the low $6,000s/day range. As Owners / Operators prefer to head to China instead of heading to India to battle with the heavy monsoon season on either coast, the freight market for Indonesian coal to India is firmer w-o-w. SMAX vessels for 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 continued to find support as owners continued to ballast to ECSA. Real demand for South African coal or cement out of the Persian Gulf did not increase w-o-w though. SMAX vessels on a DOP basis opening in ECI/WCI for the RBCT to India coal route are in the mid $5,000s/day range, while the PG to India route is currently around the low $6,000s/day range. PMAX vessels on a DOP basis opening in ECI/WCI doing the RBCT to India route are around the mid $6,000s/day range.