Friday, November 13, 2009
4111 +157 Baltic Capesize Index
7183 +335 Baltic Panamax Index
3978 +101 Baltic Supramax Index
2147 +62 Baltic Handysize Index
HANDYMAX INDEX 2209 (+42) 13 Nov 2009
Antwerp - Skaw Trip Far East
Canakkale Trip Far East
Japan - SK / NOPAC or Australia rv
Japan - SK Trip Gib - Skaw range
Antwerp - Skaw Trip US Gulf
USG Trip Skaw - Passero
Index basis: 45,000 dwt bulk carrier max 15 years, 25 t cranes with nil grabs, 14k/29.5 ifo, no diesel at sea
SUPRAMAX INDEX 3235 (+41) 13 Nov 2009
Canakkale via B. Sea to Spore-S.Jpn
US Gulf to Skaw-Passero
Fareast to Atlantic
to make Australia to India
Rates set to break $100,000 barrier
CONTINUED steady demand for iron ore and coal cargoes is set to push daily capesize freight rates past the $100,000 level this week on the largest shipping route, from Brazil to China, writes Michelle Wiese Bockmann.
Brokers said major iron ore producers in Australia continued to book capesize bulk carriers on the spot market, while increased volumes of coal shipped from South Africa to Europe also soaked up scarce tonnage.
Voyage rates to transport coal on capesize bulk carriers from the South African port of Richards Bay to Rotterdam hit $22.50 per tonne, matching levels seen briefly during the last market surge in June. Transatlantic round voyages hit $81,869 per day, while the fronthaul rate was at $98,231.
“Whichever way you turn, it all seems to be pretty positive at the moment,” said a London-based broker.
Underpinned by Chinese steelmakers’ demand for imported iron ore, average capesize rates have gained nearly $16,000 per day over the last week, and more than tripled in the last seven weeks, closing at nearly $77,000 per day on Friday.
“There’s no end to demand coming from Western Australia to China [shipping route] which has really driven the market,” said a broker.
“We’ve seen all the major iron ore producers such as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue active, and they don’t seem to be stopping at the moment. Even today [Friday] Rio Tinto is still active, and although BHP Billiton has quietened down a bit, they’re still sniffing around.”
BHP Billiton has booked nine capesizes this month, and Rio Tinto seven, according to the Baltic Exchange fixture list.
But coupled with surging transatlantic trades, few vessels in the 930-strong fleet of capesizes are immediately available for charter, lifting prices paid on the spot market.
“There is no immediate sign of slowdown in this market,” said a Europe-based shipping analyst.
The paper market was also buoying the spot market,with contract values for the first quarter of 2010 prompting interest for charters for periods of five to seven months’ duration.
Deals were priced at between $57,500 per day and $60,000 per day, with growing interest in chartering for longer periods of up to a year. First-quarter capesize derivatives contracts were trading as high as $47,500 per day on Friday, jumping 27% over the last week.
The bull run comes despite a deteriorating supply backdrop, with more 750 capesizes ordered at Asian shipyards, including 573m dwt scheduled for delivery in 2010.
Although bulk commodities trades are expected grow as Asian steel production recovers further, the surge in new ships is expected to outstrip demand and depress rates.
Iron ore trades are forecast to grow 11% to 988m tonnes in 2010, according to London broker Clarksons, while metallurgical coal imports will rise 6% to 219m tonnes and thermal coal 3% to 588m.
“We think this run is going to continue into [this] week, it’s a bit hard to read it beyond there,” said another broker.
Once major iron ore producers and speculators retreated from the underlying physical market, FFA profit-takers might influence rates to tip downwards, he said.