Rates in the PMAX market came off w-o-w as a slowdown in activity out of East Coast South America impacted freight levels in both basins. Trips to the Far East from ECSA were being rated (on an APS basis) around the low $10,000s/day with a decreased ballast bonus of $500,000. Rates for a round trip to the CONT-MED region from the North Atlantic fell as a result of the build-up in prompt tonnage in the region. The market in the Pacific was slightly discounted as well as a round voyage for a KMAX opening in Japan to the North Pacific region was being rated in the high $8,000s/day range.
On one hand the voyage charter business did not exhibit any sort of enthusiasm yet again but on the other hand time-charter activity was busier in the region this week. Enquiries for time-charter coal trips out of Indonesia and Australia were heard frequently by market participants. PMAX vessels on a DOP basis opening in North China heading from Australia to China and Australia to India traded around the high $6,000s/day range (down by $1000s/day w-o-w). News from the Chinese government regarding restriction of coal imports at certain ports did induce some negative market sentiment regarding seaborne coal freight rates; whether this is a case of an over-supplied coal market is something that most market participants are trying to figure out. As coal loading activities out of Indonesia resumed after the Ramadan break, PMAX vessels on a DOP basis opening in South China heading from Indonesia to China were assessed higher around the high $7,000s/day range.
The SMAX market moved sideways as activity in the Atlantic first increased and then receded in the US Gulf and ECSA region. A UMAX delivery in ECSA was fixed for a trip to the east at $13,100/day plus a ballast bonus of around $300,000. A NOPAC round voyage for a SMAX was rated around the same level on the week, as a vessel on a DOP basis opening in the CJK area achieved about high $7,000s/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 continued to lend support to the Pacific basin. A SMAX on a DOP basis opening in North China heading from Philippines to China traded around in the high $8,5000s/day range. Operations in Indonesia were back in full swing post-Ramadan. Vessel queues eased and traders were back to booking business for early to mid Q3 2017. A SMAX vessel for coal on a DOP basis opening in the Singapore range heading from Indonesia to China was in the mid $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.
Healthy trade flows between East Coast South Africa and the Indian sub-continent coupled with support from 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 $6,000s/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.