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Dry bulk FFA market: A few fireworks and some damp squibs

Dry bulk FFA market: A few fireworks and some damp squibs
We are in the season of festivals, authentic and imported, and the end of this week even saw fireworks exploding in the freight market. The number of mis-fires and damp squibs outpaced the bangers and rockets, but a last gasp is better than none at all and somehow the market can’t shake the feeling that better times are just around the corner.

There are distant bright spots too. Lost amid the headlines about China's decision to end its one-child policy was news that the latest five year plan includes a commitment to double gross domestic product and per capita income by 2020 from 2010 levels.

Thursday to Thursday saw all the indices fall with capesizes leading the way. Paper was lower by midweek on the prompt periods but struggled to fall any further as many continued to cling to hopes that current rates are worth buying in the event of push before the year is up. The physical is yet to show any signs of accommodating that wish but for paper traders the question is how much lower the market can fall.

Guy Fawkes Night saw the blue touch paper lit with the front end popular and deferred also trading up. The bulls are starting to speculate that the early tonnage is being cleared out while charterers still have busy schedules to fix, suggesting a physical turn around, if true.

The rate of the decline on prompt panamax contracts increased on Wednesday with sellers present from the outset, with November and December. Levels softened further out too with Q1 and Cal16 lower but there was a slight recovery towards the close.  

No explosions on panamaxes, but we found a bit of a floor on Thursday with fresh support seeing levels bumped off the week’s lows. Despite the negative index we managed to hold onto most of these gains, albeit with a little wobble at the close.

Supramaxes opened Thursday on another softer note and pretty much as expected but gradually found some support. With the index continuing to come off, the prompt and quarters suffered a rather inactive, rangebound day.

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