Atlantic trade Panamax rates stay depressed
THE situation has changed little over the past week, with rates for Panamax vessels continuing to weaken in the Atlantic and charterers delaying fixing vessels in the US Gulf in an attempt to force rates lower.
This strategy is likely to have a knock-on effect in the Pacific where voyage rates have been under downward pressure.
Owners of modern Handysize tonnage open off the Continent benefited from increased business to the Far East.
The BFI fell another 30 points, ending the week at 1,294, but futures' prices bucked the trend.
In the Capesize sector rates for minerals' shipments weakened in the North Atlantic while remaining steady, or improving slightly in the southern hemisphere.
Hanjin managed to secure tonnage for transport of two 110,000-tonne ore cargoes from Nouadhibou to Rotterdam, commencing early February, at $3.45 which is about 25 cents less than previous.
In the Far East, most business was concluded on a time-charter basis. Oak Steamship and Hanjin booked early-1980s built 130,000-tonners for Pacific rounds paying $11,000.
In the Panamax sector, rates in the Atlantic remained under downward pressure due to a lack of Russian business and owner reluctance to commit to Exportkhleb and its associates.
On the US Gulf-Japan run NSAC arranged first-half February shipment of 52,000 tonnes hss (heavy-grain soyabean) paying $22.25 (w/o combo), a dollar less than what Hanjin paid the previous week.
It is anticipated that rates in the Atlantic will continue to slip and affect the Far East where rates have come under pressure.
Last week Navix fixed the modern, large-capacity Oceanic Explorer for a Queensland round to Japan paying $9,750 while NYK chartered the 1983-built 63,800 deadweight (dwt), Ikan Bills, delivering China, for a NSW round to Japan agreeing $8,900.
In the Handysize sector rates for business from the Atlantic to the Far East improved during the week. BMS chartered four vessels off the Continent. Rates ranged from $11,500 in the case of the Future-32 type Pipitsa Petrakis to $13,000 for the 1986-built 43,500-tonner Darya Chand which will deliver in Norway.
Report supplied by Wardley Shipping Services.