Wednesday 13th Dec, 2017

Moon shines on capes

Photo: Southern Cross Maritime
Photo: Southern Cross Maritime

MOON festival holidays in parts of East Asia failed to slow activity in the capesize sector.

Analysts Banchero Costa reported “an active week”, with owners taking lower rates for “prompt date cargoes”.

Iron ore cargoes from West Australia to China were reportedly fixed in the low to mid US$7 per metric tonne while cargoes on the route from Tubarao to Qingdao were agreed in the high $17pmt for dates in mid-October.

“In the Pacific Ocean, time charter rates improved approaching US$20,000/day for Pacific round voyage; while stems out of Brazil were fixed up to $18.60 per metric tonne basis end October loading,” BC reported.

In the Atlantic basin, sentiment was reported to be positive with ships reported in the high $20s.

Meanwhile Braemar noted owners seemed happy to bide their time (on the Australia – China route) as current levels were deemed unsustainable.

Allied Shipbrokers noted the dry bulk market still held “plenty of wind in its sails”, something that could yield further improvements in the freight market in coming weeks.

“The drive in seaborne trade of dry bulk commodities has helped boost the Baltic Dry Index from its low point in mid-July until today by just over 72%,” Allied reported.

“This has, with good cause, raised the level of overall optimism and helped boost expectations as to the market performance during the final three months of the year as well as for 2018.”

Banchero Costa, meanwhile, noted figures from the World Steel Association (worldsteel) showing world crude steel production strengthening 6.3% year-on-year in August 2017 to reach 143.6m tonnes.

“This added to an overall 4.9% growth seen in Jan-Aug 2017, as world crude steel output reached 1.1 billion tonnes,” BC stated.

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