Clarksons describes the markets of tanker, bulker and shipbuilding of last week.
The market has taken on a softer tone as third decade stems have come to a close. Rates on virtually all routes ex-MEG heading East are now at WS 50 or below, and WAF-East rates have softened to similar levels. Stem dates for August are expected to be released early next week, although how much positive impact this will have on sentiment is yet to be seen.
It was a quiet start to the week in WAF and rates on all featured routes out of the region softened w-o-w. This week’s talking point has been the Med, with force majeure in Libya being lifted, and as a result there was an influx of Black Sea stems into the market seeking coverage before tonnage diminished.
It was a very interesting week in the Med. News of force majeure at Libyan ports being lifted filtered through to the market on Wednesday, causing a huge shift in sentiment in the Med, with rates on cross-Med and ex-Black Sea routes closing the week in the WS 140-150 range.
West of Suez: It was a very slow week for Handies, with very little fresh enquiry. Meanwhile, the rate for MRs on the UKC-USAC route has fallen w-o-w to WS 100 due to the surplus of tonnage. Elsewhere, the LR1 market hasn’t seen much movement, with the rate on the UKC-WAF
route holding at WS 75.
East of Suez: After a relatively weak period, activity in theMR market picked up this week.
This week, limited activity in the Panamax market kept pressure on rates, with the rate on the UKC-USG route closing down w-o-w at WS 95. Meanwhile, Handy rates in the Med have started to pick up again on the back of a busy Black Sea market, with rates rising as charterers’ options become more limited
Capesize spot rates generally increased slightly this week, supported by further activity on the Brazil-China route in particular. By the end of the week, average Capesize spot earnings had risen 4% w-o-w to stand at a relatively healthy $21,604/day.
Panamax spot rates in the Atlantic generally rose slightly this week reflecting relatively limited tonnage lists and a healthy supply of fresh cargoes out of the USEC, despite more limited activity on routes out of the Baltic. In the Pacific, rates were supported by the more positive ECSA market and a broad improvement in owners’ sentiment.
In the Atlantic, Supramax trip rates generally held steady this week, while rates on routes out of the US Gulf improved slightly. Meanwhile, rates in the Pacific started the week positively, supported by a healthy supply of fresh Indonesian coal stems, before softening towards the end of the week, with most routes ending down w-o-w.
Liner Market News
In the larger charter market sizes, some softening in activity was seen this week, with a number of vessels seeking prompt fixtures, alongside some signs that operators may be holding out in the hope of achieving lower rates in the weeks ahead. In the ‘old Panamax’ sector, some deflation in rates was seen this week, although there was still a significant variety between fixture levels agreed, with not all units fixed at decreased rates compared to last week. Meanwhile, in the ‘feeder’ sector, a small amount of prompt tonnage was available, and rates for c.2,500-3,500 TEU units remained largely stable week on week.
According to the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, spot freight rate levels on the mainlane trades out of China were largely maintained this week, with some improvement seen on routes into the US. The spot freight rate on the Shanghai-US West Coast route stood at $1,685/FEU by the end of the week, up 8.4% w-o-w.
It has been a relatively quiet week in the bulkcarrier sector, with the only orders to report being two separate options declared at Jiangsu New YZJ. Mitsui & Co. declared an option for one 82,000 dwt Kamsarmax bulkcarrier at the yard. The unit will become the 5th vessel in the series and is scheduled for delivery in 2020.
Meanwhile, Clients of Lepta Shipping, a group company of Mitsui & Co., also declared an option for one 180,000 dwt Capesize bulkcarrier at the yard. The unit will become the 3rd vessel in the series and is due for delivery in 2021.
Elsewhere, Fincantieri secured a further four cruise ship orders. Norwegian Cruise Line declared options for two additional 140,000 GT cruise ships. The units, which will have a capacity of 3,300 berths, will become the 5th and 6th vessels in the series and are due for delivery in 2026 and 2027. Meanwhile, Fincantieri received an order from TUI Cruises for 2 x 161,000 GT LNG fuelled cruise ships, due for delivery in 2024 and 2026.
In total, 463 ships have been reported ordered in 2018 so far, a 17% decline on an annualised basis. Meanwhile, the Clarksons Newbuilding Price Index currently stands at 128 points, up by 3 points since the start of the year.