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Slight market fillip before the holidays, reports Baltic

Slight market fillip before the holidays, reports Baltic

London: The Baltic Exchange reports that Capesizes staged a recovery this week with the Brazilian producer Vale and the two major Australian producers BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto actively taking ships. "In the summer the pace of fixing seen this week would have seen rates soar - now it merely lifted the voyage rate West Australia/China to over $6.00 and around $10.00 from Brazil to China," it adds.

"There were some January cargoes covered, but as the holidays fast approach the pace slowed and rates have already begun to drift. Richards Bay trading was all but non-existent and once again the number of spot ships started to creep up in the east and once again appeared to be nearing 100. The limited period activity evident was still being done at rates significantly above spot with the 170,000-dwt Cape Pioneer 2005-built fixed for about 10 to 12 months trading with delivery Hunterston end December/January at $20,000 daily."

As regards Panamaxes, rates clawed their way up to numbers starting with $3,000 daily in the east, but the Baltic Exchange notes that "rates here too began to drift as owners/operators were keen for cover over the holiday period. The Indian market had been given some support, but the pressure has eased particularly as ships in southeast Asia give it their attention. There was some period fixing for periods of about a year this week but here too rates slipped with levels hovering around $11,000 daily or thereabouts for LMEs. Largely it remained the grain houses looking for this cover. A 75,000-tonner was rumoured booked this week for two years with Cape Passero delivery mid January at $13,500 daily with an option of a third year at $17,000 daily."

For Handy/Supramaxes it was also "another week of very slim pickings for owners with prompt tonnage finding life difficult in all areas." However, there were reports that a 2005 built 53,800 dwt unit had been booked for a trip from West Coast India to China at $10,500 daily, the Exchange notes. In the Pacific there was talk that Supermax tonnage had been booked with Japan delivery for a trip via Nopac back to EC India-Japan range at about $4,750 daily but this could not be confirmed.  [19/12/08]