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Another woeful week for bulk, reports Baltic

Another woeful week for bulk, reports Baltic

London: The Baltic Exchange's weekly report makes grim reading, starting with the Capesize sector where it's 'not yet record lows for the BCI (Baltic Capesize Index), but not far from it,' says the Exchange.

'This market has left most players paralysed with almost incomprehensible numbers talked for tonnage - and the list of ships ballasting, spot or swinging at anchor growing,' comments the Baltic. 'Cargoes were scarce and with credit still tight, stockpiles at Chinese ports, falling steel prices and the ongoing price dispute between Vale and the Chinese bringing activity to a virtual standstill. Vale did take seven or eight ships for two to four months - basically single trips to the east, but this still did little to reduce the volume of tonnage available.'

'Cargoes from west Australia to were very limited with the voyage rate to China barely at $5.00. ... There was some limited period fixing with one ship fixed at the start of the week for a year at about $24,000 daily but those charterers there prepared to take tonnage substantially dropped the rate.'

Panamaxes fared no better as 'rates tumbled across the board with the BPI at a record low,' continues the Baltic. 'In the East trading was barely evident and owners/operators just simply struggled to fix at any rate. A 74,000-tonner earlier this week failed for a NoPac round at $2,800 daily, but there came talk as the week closed out that a vessel open north China fixed $5,000 daily. A 74,000-tonner ship ballasted from east coast India to south China to fix a trip to the Continent at $4,000 daily.'

'The Middle East remained a virtual graveyard for tonnage with here too cargoes from India very scarce.'

Even in the Handymax sectors there was no respite for the owners as the market continued to weaken. 'Reports emerged that a 2008 built 28,700 dwt vessel open in Japan was taken delivery APS US West Coast 15-20 November for a trip with Singapore-Japan redelivery at $5,000 daily plus a ballast bonus of $120,000.'

'Life remained very tough for tonnage in the Indian Ocean area as it was reported that a 2007 built 55,700 dwt vessel was fixed delivery East Coast India for a trip to China at a meagre $2,000 daily.'  [31/10/08]