The Baltic Exchange, the independent source of information on the maritime transport market for the negotiation and settlement of physical and derivative contracts. He publishes his renowned report on the maritime transport of dry bulk:
A stronger week overall for the sector as the North Atlantic appeared active with more inquiries from mid-week. With the new tonnage tightening, time charter voyages for both fronthaul (export) and transatlantic runs had the biggest improvement among all routes, ending the week at $16,639 and $29,344 respectively. The Pacific held its steady pace as the Western Australia to Qingdao haul climbed to $8,375, a year-to-date high and last seen before Christmas last year. Subsequently, the average time charter for the 5TC increased over $4,000 compared to last Friday and finished proceedings at $14,466.
A fascinating week for the Panamax market with various peaks and valleys seen in all markets. The Liner in the North seemed a bit nervous in places with a lack of demand and some travel accessories equating to exceptionally low returns. However, there was talk of enhanced deals for fronthaul trips on Friday. EC South America saw a mini midweek splurge with late March arrivals capturing better numbers, $17,000 + $700,000 being made here. Asia witnessed a stronger week with all origins coming to life and finding support. Indonesia saw a healthy pickup in activity, ably supported by good demand for grains and minerals, excluding Australia and NoPac. $18,000 was the highlight and concluded at the end of the week with a delivery of 82,000 dwt in China for a NoPac round of grains, while LME tonnage comfortably reached levels of $15/16,000 for trips through Indonesia to China. Activity for the period also came alive, with $17,250 completed on a nine- to 12-month delivery of 82,000 dwt to China.
A tale of two halves, with the start of the week seeing little excitement in Asia to begin with. However, at the end of the week, a rebound in fresh cargo requests from Indonesia and Australia, combined with a steady supply of return freight requirements, generated renewed optimism. Overall, the Atlantic held firm with stronger levels seen from the South Atlantic and more availability from the Mediterranean. Period interest remained and a 63,000 dwt open Continent pegged at around $18,000 for seven to nine months. A China opening of 56,000 dwt was fixed for four to six months trading at $14,600. From the South Atlantic, Ultramax sizes were seeing around $20,000 for transatlantic voyages. From the Mediterranean, a 61,000 dwt was priced at about $20,000 for a voyage to West Africa. In Asia, a 57,000 dwt fixed-delivery Zebu via Indonesia is back for delivery to China at $15,500. A 63,000 dwt (with scrubber installed) open in North China fixed a $20,500 NoPac round return in Sudan with scrubber benefit to charterers account.
The upbeat mood continued through the week with positive gains in both basins despite a lack of visible activity. It is said that the east coast of South America has seen inquiries for fresh beans enter the market daily. An unnamed large handy was rumored to have been fixed from southern Brazil across the Rio de la Plata to the Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam-Ghent range in the $14,000/$14,500 region, but no further details emerged. An open delivery of 24,000 dwt was set in the eastern Mediterranean at Canakkale via the Black Sea to the UK with an expected cargo of agricultural products of $7,000. From Asia, brokers spoke of more requirements from Australia and Indonesia with a mid-teenage fixing of 37.00 dwt for a trip from Thailand via Southeast Asia to China. However, it surfaced that this failed. Brokers also spoke of more inquiries about the period. A 33,000 dwt opening in North Vietnam was rumored to have been placed subject to $13,000 for an undisclosed period.
Source: The Baltic Exchange