Dry bulk FFA market: Vale’s woes continue to dull Capesize rates

The return of Chinese trade participants from Spring festival failed to create a roar in the Capesize market this week.

Instead, the Capesize market remained dull and looked to the latest updates on Vale, the world largest iron ore supplier for any changes to seaborne iron ore supply.

Vale reaches agreement to reopen four pellet plants

So far, the Brazilian miner had reached an agreement with Brazilian authority in resuming operation of four previously halted pellet plants in Tubarao, Brazil.

The reopening of the four pellet plants along with the restart of the raw materials yard and coal port service ended the tight pellet supply scare, which was estimated at a loss output of 18.1m mt per year.

Previously, the city authority of Vitoria issued a shutdown of Vale’s wastewater treatment on the ground of wastewater were released to coastal waters without the knowledge of city council.

Still a flat physical market for Capesize

Despite the positive updates, Vale is still expected to suffer shortfall of 40m mt per year in its iron ore output from the decommission of its ten dams.

Thus, the Capesize paper market failed to pick up and remained rangebound for most of the week due to sluggish Brazilian iron ore movement at the aftermath of Vale’s dam collapse.

On Thursday, the Capesize time spreads barely moved and making hard for trade participants to see how the paper can break out of this range until the physical market sparks into life.

Nevertheless, the Capesize 5 time charter average booked a gain on Thursday to the spot price of $7,342, up $58 day-on-day.

Panamaxes still going strong

The Panamax paper market found support throughout the week, unaffected by weak Capesize market.

Despite the firm support, some aggressive selling occurred on Tuesday at the afternoon session before finding stability later with some bid supports.

Later, the Panamax paper market faced a turblulent day on St Valentine day, Thursday with another selloff in the early session before a push back session seen later in the day. As such, Panamax time charter average scored a small gain of $69 day-on-day to $4,988 on Thursday.

Stronger rates for smaller vessels

Supramax paper opened the week on a stronger note, following the positive momentum from past week. Throughout the week, the Supramax rates continued to improve as selling interest remained cautious.

Thus, the Supramax time charter recorded $5,634 on Thursday, up $289 day-on-day, while the Handysize paper saw a quiet week and booked $4,372, up $87 day-on-day

Posted 15 February 2019

© Copyright 2019 Seatrade (UBM (UK) Ltd). Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Seatrade.

Contributed by Titus Zheng, Freight Investor Services (FIS)

Contributed by Titus Zheng, Freight Investor Services (FIS)

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