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Stasis for depressed dry bulk market: Baltic

London: In its weekly freight market round-up the Baltic Exchange reports that all dry bulk sectors remained severely depressed with little sign of upward movement. "A paralysed market as ships sit idle with the list growing ever longer," is how the Cape size sector was described. "For some owners the choice is clear - not to fix at current loss making levels," concludes the Exchange.

"For the sake of repetition the same problems beset the market - China slowdown, credit squeeze, congestion almost negligible," it continues. "Vale's decision not to ask for a price rise from the Chinese failed to result in any new cargoes coming into the market." Rates varied from around $3,000 to $9,000 daily, it added.

For Panamaxes, "the east saw a brief rally, well at least for those ships with either head owners or in a very short 'blue chip' chain. LMEs were fixing around $6,000 to $7,000 daily, but as the week drew to a close this rally appeared short lived with talk that business has been done at $5,000 daily and a Kamsarmax coming open in Japan at under $6,000 daily. Today trading was negligible with minds now focussed on paper settlements rather than physical trading."

In the Handy/Supramax sectors the Baltic reports more period enquiry (and fixing) "as some charterers felt that with hopefully little further downside left, now was the right time to venture back in to the market." but compared to recent fixtures, rates agreed tended towards "bargain basement levels". On the spot market, more iron ore enquiry was registered from the Indian Ocean area and it was "not quite the graveyard that it has been recently," says the Baltic. One report suggested that a 2007 built 53,600dwt vessel had been fixed with mid November West Coat India delivery for a trip to China at a better $5,000 daily.  [07/11/08]

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