Panamax coal freight rates weaker as grain activity slows
Singapore (Platts)--1Feb2013/516 am EST/1016 GMT
Panamax coal freight rates on established routes from South Africa's
Richards Bay and Indonesia to India remained stable Friday, with a downward
bias, as support from the South American grain season began to weaken,
"Vessels are ballasting to the east coast of South America for the grain
cargoes," a Singapore-based source said.
He, however, said Panamax freight rates continued to remain weak with
time charter rates seen at about $4,500-5,000/day and going up to $7,000/day.
He said freight rates can be expected to fall again next week.
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A second Singapore-based trader said he expects sentiment to improve
only after the Chinese Lunar New Year.
"Fresh trans-Atlantic requirements that came into the market towards the
end of last week have now been mostly cleared out before the holidays in the
Far East," broker Braemar Seascope said in its weekly note on Thursday.
"Since then, there has been little replenishment and the market has
developed a flat/negative tone moving into next week," the broker said.
Panamax freight rates had risen earlier this week, boosted by the South
American grain season.
"Things were slightly better for Panamaxes in the Atlantic basin but the
positive sentiment waned towards the end of the week, with trans-Atlantic
freight rates weakening," Greek broker Intermodal said in its weekly note on
Activity in the Pacific basin was better as cargoes were fixed ahead of
the holiday in China, but it is not expected to be sustainable as the holiday
season approaches, the broker said.
A growing list of open positions against a reduced number of fresh
requirements is the overall tone causing a sliding trend in both hemispheres,
broker Fearnleys said in its weekly note on Wednesday.
Platts assessed the daily Panamax freight rates from Richards Bay to
India's east coast at $15/mt and to the west coast at $14/mt, both unchanged
from Thursday but up 40 cents and 30 cents, respectively, week-on-week.
Platts also assessed the daily Panamax freight rates from South
Kalimantan to India's east coast at $7.30/mt and to the west coast at $8/mt,
both unchanged on-day but up 20 cents week on week.
Capesize market continues to remain at levels similar to last week, the
first Singapore-based source said.
"The dry bulk market showed some weakness last week after a couple of
positive weeks. Just ahead of the holiday period in China, it looks like
activity has been entering safe mode with decreased enquiries for Capes in
the East," Intermodal said.
The cyclone in Australia has kept several ports closed and not much
activity was expected for the next week, the broker said.
"As the tropical cyclone Oswald has caused force majeure conditions
several places "down under" the overall activity looks to be further reduced
by the coming Chinese New Year," Fearnleys said.
While iron ore stockpiles at Chinese ports remain low, major Australian
miners have been comparatively inactive in the spot market, Fearnleys noted.
--Deepak Kannan, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by James Leech, email@example.com