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Dry bulk FFA market: Slim pickings and downbeat mood music

Dry bulk FFA market: Slim pickings and downbeat mood music
  If the return of the Chinese and Singapore markets after the Lunar New Year celebrations was a cause to hope for a boost to activity this week for dry bulk freight, then traders were to be disappointed.

Early optimism on capesizes on news of Western Australia fixing higher and oil prices rising quickly faded despite the indices making some gains, with many traders evidently willing to sell into any upward moves. Physical provided zero impetus with the only bright spot the carry trade on Q3 and Q4, with the premium looking irresistible to sellers.

The going nowhere trend continued and seems likely to persist without significant movement from the physical. The outlook appears to be a slow erosion in front month values while the rest of curve remains an unconvincing sell at such heavily discounted rates.

Panamaxes had their own Groundhog day, with buyers on the open and sellers on the close. The curve came under a bit more pressure with buyers willing to see how aggressive sellers would be, but the back end of the curve still felt supported with little change on the deferred.

With no index gains the market took another nudge lower on prompt periods as March and traded down to the lows of the rangebound levels we have seen over the recent weeks. That triggered bid support but the back end closed lower on Thursday, adjusting in relation to the prompt period movement.

Supramaxes saw a comparatively more positive week with the bid side supported and better rates printing on Q2 and Q3. A positive index Wednesday led to an afternoon of limited offers down the curve.

The small ships opened stronger as the week ended with positivity flowing through the day, particularly on prompt where March saw the biggest jump, Q2 and Q3/4 ticking up.

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