VLCCs: There has been no real change in fundamentals this week, with the position list oversupplied despite markets remaining relatively busy. Although owners have been a little more confident lately, charterers started to chip away at rates this week, with up to 13 offers for some enquiry.
- Suezmaxes: Meanwhile, in WAF, rates remained fairly steady at c.WS 60, with the list looking finely balanced going forward.
- Aframaxes: There were a number of fixtures concluded in the Med/Black Sea this week, with the market looking interesting at times. However, rates in the region continue to be chipped away at. Meanwhile, in the North Sea/Baltic it was a quiet week, although Baltic-UKC levels managed to push up slightly w-o-w to WS 72.5.
Capesize: The Capesize market maintained its recent positive momentum this week, with spot rates rising further w-o-w in both basins. The spot rate on the Dampier-Qingdao route stood at $8.25/tonne at the end of the week, while average Capesize spot earnings reached $16,822/day, the highest level seen so far this year.
- Panamax: In the Atlantic, the week started with generally negative sentiment, with holidays in Europe towards the end of the week causing some disruption to trading. The market in the Pacific was supported by a healthy volume of fresh cargoes, particularly out of NOPAC, with sentiment turning generally positive through the week.
- Handy: The Pacific market was active this week after last week’s holidays in the East, with a steady supply of fresh cargo from Indonesia and NOPAC seeing tonnage availability tighten. In the Atlantic, the market lacked direction, reflecting limited activity during the holidays in Europe.
Liner Market News
Activity on the European containership charter market was relativelysubdued this week, on account of the two public holidays which took place, although this effect was not as pronounced as has been seen in previous years. In the wider market, fixture volumes for the larger charter market sizes were limited, although a number of transactions currently on subjects are expected to be concluded early next week. A new record for the year so far was set for ‘old Panamax’ tonnage in Asia this week, with larger examples commanding rates in excess of $13,000/day.
Meanwhile, a number of new fixtures were reported this week in the 2-3,000 TEU ‘feeder’ sector, following relatively limited activity a week prior. Modern c.2,700 TEU tonnage is commanding premium rates, with fixtures in excess of $12,000/day reported this week, and rates for less economical units a little lower. Further charter market activity in the smaller ‘feeder’ segments is expected to come to light in the coming weeks.
It was a quiet week in the newbuilding market with only a couple of orders to report. In the tanker sector, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) have won a contract from Clients of Niovis Shipping for 1 + 1 x 50,000 dwt MR Tanker. The firm vessel is scheduled for delivery in 2H 2019 from HMD’s Ulsan facility.
- In the bulkcarrier sector, Jinling Shipyard has won a contract for 2 x 82,000 dwt Kamsarmax bulkers from AVIC Leasing. Upon delivery, scheduled for 2H 2019, the vessels will reportedly be bareboat chartered to Singaporean owner SDTR Marine.
- A total of 296 vessels have been reported contracted in the year to date, representing a 20% year-on-year decline on an annualized basis. In total, 72 bulkcarriers have been ordered in 2018 so far, accounting for 24% of total year to date contracts in numerical terms, the largest share of any vessel type.
- The Clarksons Newbuild Price Index currently stands at 128 points, up by 3 points since the start of the year.
Major Bulk Trades News:
- Chinese iron ore imports rose 1% y-o-y to 82.9mt in April 2018, bringing total iron ore imports to 353mt in the first four months of the year, steady y-o-y. Limited growth in imports in April reportedly reflects supply disruptions in Brazil, following heavy rains and the closure of Minas Rio, which saw China’s port stockpiles fall from a record 161.7mt in late March to around 160mt in early May.
- Coal India’s production rose 17% y-o-y to 45mt in April, bringing total output to 228mt in the first four months of the year, a 6% y-o-y rise. Despite rising domestic production, Indian seaborne steam coal imports have remained at elevated levels in recent months as logistical constraints limit the availability of domestically produced coal and as coal demand remains firm.