Sunday 19th Nov, 2017

Sluggish week for capes

Photo: Southern Cross Maritime
Photo: Southern Cross Maritime

SHIPBROKERS Allied have reported a sluggish past week in the capesize sector, with a public holiday in Britain having cut any momentum.

“Overall it was the Atlantic basin that was showing the greater signs of softening, while as we reached the end of the week the Pacific basin too was moving at a considerably slower pace,” Allied wrote in a market statement.

Analysts Banchero Costa noted the market was stronger in the Pacific where rates jumped around but ended last week more or less around the low $7 per metric tonne on the route from Western Australia to Qingdao (China).

“Iron ore prices remained at healthy levels and miners pushed to ship more and more,” BC reported.

“Out of Brazil the tone was quieter; same as in Atlantic where volume were somehow thin and market stable.”

Braemar had earlier noted the impact in the Pacific of typhoon Hato with the absence of volume and significant paper sentiment suggesting a “wait and see approach” would continue.

Meanwhile, there are fears of a looming trade war between China and the USA, with President Trump having declined a Chinese proposal to cut steel overcapacity.

Beijing proposed cutting steel overcapacity by 150m tonnes by 2022. Banchero Costa noted President Trump had told advisers to find ways to impose tariffs on Chinese imports.

“Iron ore has surged since mid-June as reforms in China have helped to sustain demand for steel at the same time that officials are tightening up on pollution curbs and weeding out illegal plants before a Communist Party congress,” BC reported.

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