In contrast to the substantially under-performing Capesize market, the PMAX market kept strengthening w-o-w on the back of a strong East Coast South America (ECSA) and North Atlantic market. Charterers were more than willing to take delivery of ships coming from the Far East and the Indian Ocean region. APS rates rose w-o-w as trips to the Far East from ECSA were being rated around high $10,000s/day and an improved ballast bonus of close to $600,000. The rate for a round voyage for a KMAX opening in Japan-Korea to the North Pacific region was around the high $9,000s/day range.
Although the voyage charter business in the East started on a quiet note, period business flourished and charterers were seen conceding to higher rates. PMAX vessels on a DOP basis opening in North China heading from Australia to China and Australia to India were around the mid $7,000s/day and high $7,000s/day range, thereby increasing the landed cost of Australian coal into China compared to the domestic coal market. Shrivelled tonnage lists due to a busy North Pacific market coupled with higher Chinese coal import projections (due to the heat wave) carried on the strong momentum. PMAX vessels on a DOP basis opening in South China heading from Indonesia to China were rated around the mid $7,000s/day range.
With the ECSA and US Gulf market improving w-o-w yet again, the SMAX market remained firm in both spot and period markets. A 53,000-dwt delivery east coast South America was fixed to the east at $12,800/day plus a ballast bonus of $280,000. The Pacific Basin joined the party as well, as a NOPAC round voyage for a SMAX vessel on a DOP basis opening in the CJK area achieved about high $7,000s/day. Steel demand increased w-o-w as trips to India from Korea basis North China delivery for a SMAX paid around low $7,000s/day and mid $4,000s/day to SKAW-CONT from Korea basis CJK delivery.
Demand for nickel ore and Indonesian coal continued to support the SMAX market in the region. A Nickel Ore round voyage from the Philippines to the CJK region paid around the high $9,000s/day for a SMAX. 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. Despite the monsoon season in India, the SMAX market for the Indo-India route was unchanged w-o-w. SMAX vessels of coal on a DOP basis opening in Singapore heading from Indonesia to India are being rated in the low to mid $8,000s/day range.
Despite the lack of South African Coal and limestone flows from the PG into India, the ECSA market held up the rates in the Indian Ocean yet again. SMAX vessels on a DOP basis opening in ECI/WCI for the RBCT to India coal route are in the low $6,000s/day range, while the PG to India route is currently around the high $7,000s/day range. PMAX vessels on a DOP basis opening in ECI/WCI doing the RBCT to India route are around the low $7,000s/day range.