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Dry bulk FFA market: Context, timing and unrelenting optimism

Dry bulk FFA market: Context, timing and unrelenting optimism
Context, like timing is critical in the dry bulk market, so news of some better sentiment this week must be set against the reality that levels are underwater in the dry bulk sector and that consolidation, pooling, lay-up and bankruptcy are the order of the day.

Capes got little of the better mood but incredibly panamaxes which should have been capitulating, showed some resilience which knocked on to supramaxes.

Capes saw decent trading volume, though the trend was stable with prompt contracts giving up value while Q3 onwards stubbornly held on to fractional gains. Despite the 4TC index creeping towards $800 mark levels were a higher on some periods and thin down the offer side of curve.

As the week ended the lack of fundamental support was more obvious with the front end drifting lower and the deferred more robust with a number of buyers sensing light at the end of the tunnel.

Panamaxes started timid but steady with the focus mainly on prompt periods. But with positive momentum in the Pacific feeding through, we saw a small breakout with a flurry of March and Q2 buying.

Despite levels being only a tick better, buyers seemed willing to step up their ideas and it was onwards and upwards again on Thursday with a little more belief as the outlook in both basins continues to bolster confidence. April pushed sharply while Q2 tested resistance and though paper came off the highs towards the close, the positive tone persists.

Supramaxes also showed better with rates increasing as the panamax positivity filtered down. Q2 saw some stronger numbers with the offer side of curve thin and bids chasing the market up.

Another jump in rates as the week ended with better physical reports leading to another push. Prompt months gapped up but Q2 and Q4 fared much better – the index was better than expected too, leading to an afternoon in search of offers as the bid side crept up.

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