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Dry bulk FFA market: Bottom of the market to you!

Dry bulk FFA market: Bottom of the market to you!
I was St Patrick’s Day on Thursday and from one end of the globe to the other, people whose forebears may once have been slightly Irish will be dressing up in green, pretending to like Guinness and probably shouting Begorrah at each other.

Sadly the only drinks being enjoyed by owners and traders in the dry freight market will be at least half made up of tears, as another shockingly poor week goes by. The recent flick upwards on capesizes driven by short term iron ore demand sentiment and hopes for a strong south American grains season have not done enough to support anything like a sustained upturn.

The ‘green shoots’ of spring in the physical market saw capesize indices marked slightly higher but this had little effect on the FFA market which saw nearby contracts sold off aggressively with April, May and Q2 trading down.

Any remaining optimism was erased as the capesize index touched a new low on Wednesday and news of low transatlantic fixing prompted talk of the possibility for a negative index before long. Despite this, Q3 onwards remained well supported providing hope of better conditions further out.

Despite a dip in activity in both basins and a softer opening, panamaxes fought bravely to try and pull back losses before settling into a steady range.

The market continued easier across the curve with sellers present from the outset as the physical outlook continues to deteriorate. Prompts came under most pressure with Q3 holding a slight premium but further out we tested the lower end of the current range on Q4 and Cal17 but saw slightly better buying return towards the close here.

Supramaxes saw weaker numbers too of course with prompt softening but with little activity in the market. Nearby markets saw interest in Q2 but despite the larger sizes seeing negative index numbers, supramaxes saw a positive index midweek, but a quiet market thereafter.

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