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Dry bulk FFA market: New quarter, but no quarter

Dry bulk FFA market: New quarter, but no quarter
The fourth quarter begins, not with a bang but with a medium-sized whimper. The week was not a disaster by any means but the BDI ticked down and the TC largely indices followed, with panamax and supramax worst affected.

Despite the Asian holidays, capesizes danced to their own (positive) tune but didn’t always take the rest with them.

Capesize FFAs were under pressure in midweek with Q4 trading down but a flattish index prompting bids to return. The physical market seemed to hold the key but was very quiet. By week’s end, prompt was making gains and while the physical produced more rumours than reality, there were further gains on Friday and the indices moved into positive territory for the first time since Monday.

A lack of enquiry ahead of the holidays and the stop-go capesize market meant initial losses across the curve on panamax paper, with Q4 and Cal16 both breaking support but continued to see resistance just off the highs.

Little change to the sluggish physical outlook saw rangebound trading. On the plus side we didn’t slip much lower with good support evident on the nearby and Cal. But with capesizes seeing better buying late on and the panamax index flattening there are hints of improved sentiment for the new quarter.

Softer from the open on supramax as levels followed the larger sizes but again in thin volumes either side of the curve and the activity levels were pretty limited in gappy trading.

Flatter as the week ended with limited activity but as the holidays loomed it looked like a quiet start to Q4. There was little deviation in rates with the curve maintaining goods support despite another index slip on Friday.