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Dry bulk FFA market: Summertime, and the broking is easy

Dry bulk FFA market: Summertime, and the broking is easy
It was another week in which the dry bulk market defied if not gravity, then at least apparent logic.

The stats were all negative: growing iron ore port stocks, rebar futures at a record low, the coking coal benchmark fixed down and the BDI edging lower. None of this could take the shine off trader’s appetite.

The week started brightly on capesize paper, with an early slip erased as buyers returned for a short spell at the highs. The lack of clear physical direction seemed to suggest the range would hold and again the market traded up before retracing, through with Q4 and Cal 16 well bid.

Healthy volume changing hands and week’s end saw a bullish day despite physical easing in the Pacific. Paper was bid consistently through the day with offers hard to find. There were unconfirmed rumours of the T/A fixing higher but few could pinpoint the ship or trade. If this proves unfounded then we could see some of the gains given up.

Early support on panamax saw some slightly improved prompt rates with July, Q3 and Q4 trading up with buyers sniffing around last done. Upward resistance was tested midweek before a sharp break out which saw new highs trading nearby.

Early hedging turned into nervous short covering but premiums look relatively conservative - perhaps as indication of the uncertainty as to the legs of the current push. Further improvement across the curve on Thursday however, with July, Q3 seeing most gains with T/A and F/H activity continuing to underpin optimism.

Supramaxes opened the week on a softer note with rates slipping slightly on Q3 and Q4. Prompt slipped on early index nervousness but with some better bids creeping back in.

Mid-week saw a push forward direction with rates improving and even without stronger physical sentiment we saw better numbers trading with prompt and Calendar action. The market continued the forward momentum seen of late with rates pushing once again, with the Atlantic still looking tight and encouragement from the larger vessels.

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