Dry bulk FFA market: Bullish capesizes lead the way

Capesize freight rates got a boost from strong fixtures across all routes, thanks to bullish market sentiment. With this support, the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) raced toward the 1,500 points mark and finished 1,486 on Wednesday, up 9 points day-on-day.

The rise of the index may have followed the price of iron ore as well which saw an enormous surge on Monday, finishing at mixed performance on Wednesday. The uptick was attributed to the higher Chinese futures recorded on Wednesday, which might indicate a better physical iron ore market as the week goes by.

With so many variables moving in the fast-paced market, it was difficult to see whether the market can sustained at the current level. As such, the Capesize 5 time charter average recorded $21,980 on Wednesday, up $983 day-on-day, and up 6.6% as compared to $20,604 on Monday.

“A very tight and narrow range on Wednesday for the cape futures despite the physical market heading north in both basins. Volumes were good but there was no conviction from either side.” commented a FIS shipbroker.

He noted that the Nov contract decreased by $50 to the $20,850, while the Q1 18 saw a big gain of $175 to $18,250.

“The physical does look solid but with rates at close to a 3-year high it will take some energy to power on ahead from here.” he added later.

For the panamax market, the freight rate opened the week on softer note prompt contracts came under pressure throughout the day with Nov and Dec slipping to $12,600 and $12,300 lows respectively before finding some support.

By Wednesday, the panamax market did not experience any turnaround with the time charter average losing $345 day-on-day to $12,163, while the November slid from $12,300 to $11,650 intraday and December from $12,050 to $11,400.

Similarly, supramax market began the week on weaker footing, with the time charter average losing ground by $58 to $11,081 on Monday.

“Not the most active start to the supramax paper week was witnessed on Monday as the prompt softened slightly the Calendars found some extra support,” said an Asian-based supramax broker.

During Monday’s session, he highlighted that Nov was better offered, while Dec was sold at the $11,100 -$11,000 range. However, the Cal 18 was paid $9,800 and bid on.

The downtrend was seen toward the midweek after witnessing a massive sell off as Nov was sold down to $10,600 and Dec $10,400. The back end of curve also was softer but less aggressive as Cal 18 was trading $9,700-9,600 range.

“Supramax paper continued to feel the pressure on Wednesday as sellers pushed the market rates down from the start and throughout the day,” opined the supramax broker.

Meanwhile, the handysize time charter average went down slightly by $55 day-on-day to $9,554 on Wednesday, slid $102 as compared to Monday’s rate at $9,656.

Posted 10 November 2017

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Contributed by Titus Zheng, FIS Singapore

Contributed by Titus Zheng, FIS Singapore

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