Freight market is showing much lethargy this week, which is similar to the week before as the shipping activities slowed down in June.
The brewing trade war between the US and China is seen having varied effects on different parts of the shipping industry. While much will depend on if and when the tariffs actually kick in, analysts seem to agree that the worst effects will be felt by the container shipping industry, exacerbating an already difficult situation with oversupply of capacity and slowing global trade.
The Capesize market was hard hit after force majeure was being declared in Guinea this week. The declaration had increased the supply of vessels across the Asia-Pacific and Atlantic basins, thus bringing down Capesize freight rates in the process.
Continuing its consolidation of the sector Star Bulk Carriers is buying Songa Bulk in a cash and share deal worth $327.95m.
The Capesize rate has breached over the $20,000 level on Wednesday, supported by the bullish steel demand in China. Initially, the rally in Capesize rates started early in the week, making the biggest gains for front months on Tuesday, 8 May 2018.
The freight market has returned to pre-Labour Day holiday level by the end of the week, thanks to robust steel demand.
The freight market went relatively quiet for the week, ahead of the upcoming May holiday in China. There were no last-ditch fixtures seen just before holidays period and the strong Capesize rates might be the only deterrent for the Baltic Dry Index to slide under the 1,300 level and allowed the index to stabilise at a respectable level of 1,375 reading on Thursday, 26 April 2018.
Reflecting the sluggish commodities trading conditions in the first quarter, the terminals managed by Qinhuangdao Port saw flat to slightly negative growth in almost all segments except container throughput.