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Dry bulk FFA market: ‘Been down so long…’

Dry bulk FFA market: ‘Been down so long…’
OK, so things were not so bad this week, but that is not saying much. The Baltic Dry Index actually rose Thursday to Thursday but 12 points does not mean Christmas has come early.

The paper market could be said to be experiencing some bottom-feeding volatility but the fundamentals do not support anything like a serious recovery.

The capesize market was described as "ugly" by traders who by midweek had lost confidence in the physical market ‘recovery’ despite the underlying only easing marginally.

West Australia/China slipped to $4.40 and some deals failed in the Atlantic but paper seemed to over-react with Dec, Q1 and Cal 16 trading down. Some buying support was evident at these lower levels with all eyes on the physical market.

Paper opened a touch softer Thursday but failed to make a serious move lower. Selling was attributed more to stop-lossing and without physical discounting another $2k, there seemed little sense in selling Dec lower than $5,500. The curve remained well supported at close with little activity post index and up to the close of business.

With physical struggling to find a foothold we witnessed more losses on panamax paper. As the curve drifted lower we saw the nearby and deferred suffer at levels low enough to attract support.

Prompt traded down again Thursday but further out there was some relative stability as talk of some improved T/A activity and resistance form owners leant some support. The tone remains cautious however with further enquiry required if this is not just to be another temporary stand.

What to say about supramaxes – softer from the get-go despite some positive index numbers which utterly failed to pep up the market. The week ended slow and uninteresting with liquidity limited. Rates were slightly softer again down the curve but with no great change even as the index stepped back into negative territory.

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