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Dry bulk FFA market: Parades rain on freight market bounce back

Dry bulk FFA market: Parades rain on freight market bounce back
Like many other commodities, freight staged something of a rebound after the carnage of the last fortnight. But where other commodities fell back almost straightaway, freight looked like it would emerge perhaps bloodied but with some chance of a sustained recovery, only to be halted by a rather less moveable object – Chinese public holidays.

Capesizes began the week with rumblings of the Atlantic turning upwards and with the Pacific on the rise, paper was led higher, with the front end of the curve particularly sought after. Part of the increase on the Australia-China run could be attributed to higher bunkers but it seemed that sentiment had turned in the short term, with September pricing in a juicy premium.

Physical continued to rise but the index stalled, leading some sellers to close positions, driving the curve lower despite reports of further strength. The slowing turned into a stall as holidays in Hong Kong and China saw rates easing in light volume with physical similarly quiet.

A lack of fresh physical news brought anxiousness to the panamax market with early bearish sentiment and the majority of the curve seeing lower offers. As capes rallied, sellers backed off and we pushed off the lows but eyes remained focussed on the strength of the trend and whether fresh Pacific enquiry could lift the current slump.

Another day of losses followed as the bears continued to picnic, with both T/A and F/H business declining and Pacific enquiry finding ample tonnage. The nearby periods printed lower, found decent support but continued weaker on prompt while further out the market held a steady range against a sluggish physical picture and an expectation of little change before next week.

Supramax paper saw a flat open to the week turn into a pretty strong slide as rates were pushed down aggressively on September and Q4. Continuing softer as the week ended, with nearby curve pushed down further. Another negative index, but it was no worse than expected, meaning the market was quieter rather than much weaker, with most traders already looking forward to next week.

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