Tuesday, 22 May 12 DRY BULK MARKET STEADY, AWAITING FURTHER RISE IN DEMAND WHICH IS DOUBTFUL - NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU, HELLENIC SHIPPING
Traditionally, the second and third quarters of the year are the strongest for the dry bulk market, but this year, things seem to be quite subdued, with a few exceptions. It’s true that from mid-March and up until the end of April, the industry’s benchmark, the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) managed to recover the losses it sustained during the first couple of months of the year, when it plunged to multi-decade lows. But, as it turns out the past couple of weeks, the BDI has been unable to inch forward, remaining relatively flat.
During the course of the previous week, the BDI rose by 0.3% last week, with the Capesize index increasing by 1.2%. The largest gainer was the Handysize index, which was up by 3.7%. By contrast, the Panamax Index fell by 3.6%, while the Supramax Index was down by 0.4%. Iron ore inventory at Chinese ports was mostly flat, price moved lower on risk-off. Steel stockpiles fell further, but remained at elevated levels while price moved marginally lower. Thermal coal inventory rose, while prices remained unchanged in the Chinese market.
Yesterday, the BDI was unchanged at 1,141 points with very few movement across the board. The Capesize Index was down by 7 points to 1,626 points, while the Panamax Index also fell by 5 points to 1,269 points. On the other hand, the Supramax Index was up by 5 points to 1,113 points and the Handysize Index was up by 5 points to 644 points, recovering from the lows of the beginning of the year.
In its latest weekly report, shipbroker BRS noted that in the Capesize market, “there was some firming in the Pacific this week with Hedland-Qingdao reaching $7.75, a 2.5% increase on the previous week. However elsewhere the picture was less active - an increase in the Atlantic mid week evaporated by the end of the week and rates finished on Friday little changed or slightly down. Tubarao-Qingdao also eased off, losing around 1% to finish at $20.30. A decline in coal fronthauls has removed what had otherwise been a good boost to the market. Overall the 4TC ended slightly up at $8,841, a rise of $246 over the week, while in the paper market, June, Q3 and Cal13 reported modest losses, losing -$300, - $200 and -$300 on the week. The 4TC recorded a 64 point drop on Monday” it said.
Meanwhile, as it mentioned “the Panamax 4TC market eased by $400 per day this week and closed at around $10,200 on Friday. The only route that gained ground was the fronthaul round which traded close to $19,000 and takers were keen to fix for minerals out of Cont and grain out of ECSA and even USG. In the Atlantic and Pacific, ships were traded at $12,000 and $8,000 respectively ($1,000 less than the week before) and the short period was paying a touch over $10,000 for ships delivery North China redelivery worldwide. The Indian market eased this week with the monsoon hitting the west coast, pushing vessels that were open in the area to ballast to ECSA where they were getting paid close to $10/11,000 dop basis” it mentioned.
Finally, on the Supramax/Handy size markets, it noted that “the BSI was very stable last week, losing only 4 points, but if we analyse what happened in both basins, we note a completely different scenario between the Atlantic and the Pacific. US Gulf/Skaw-Passero gained 10% Friday to Friday to finish the week at $22,135; on the Continent there is a small number of Supramaxes available for spot loading, and for scrap to the East Med Supras are asking about $15,000 while high teens are being done for redelivery Singapore/Japan. In the south Atlantic, the picture is different: there is more prompt tonnage available, and Supras are getting fixed in the $12,000 range for delivery West Africa TC trip via ECSA with redelivery Med, and about $18,000 for redelivery Far East. The Pacific market has been rather subdued this week and has led to time charter rates plummeting. The falling rupee has applied the brakes to Indian coal imports. In addition, the approaching monsoons have all but stopped the export of iron and mill scale. Freight for Indo/WCI is now close to $13 pmt, equivalent to a fall of almost 40% in a month. The Indonesian nickel ore ban, combined with the increased taxes on coal, has led to lower export volumes. This is further hurting an already depressed market” it concluded. Source: Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping
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