Dry CargoEurope

Diana capesize fixed on timecharter as BDI edges lower

Greece’s Diana Shipping has fixed its capesize bulk carrier Semirio to SwissMarine Services on an 11- to 15-month timecharter at a rate of $4,800 per day, minus 5% commission.

The charter commenced on February 6 and is expected to generate $1.58m of gross revenue during the first 11 months, the NYSE-listed company said today.

The freight rate is over 50% less that what the cape was earning during its previous employment. Semirio was fixed on a one-year timecharter to Rio Tinto Shipping in February last year at a gross rate of $10,000 daily, minus 5% commission. The charter was terminated two weeks earlier than scheduled and Diana says Rio Tinto has agreed to compensate the company for the remaining 14 days of the contract period.

The heavily discounted freight rate comes as the capesize market continues to contract. The Baltic Capesize Index (BCI) today fell another 5 points on Friday’s level to reach 207. Its weighted timecharter average rate similarly decreased $43 and was today assessed at $2,781 per day.

London-based shipbroker Alibra Shipping today estimates a daily rate of $5,000 for one-year capesize timecharters, some $250 below what it quoted on Friday.

In spite of this bearishness, the capesize period charter market is showing some volatility. Uniper (E.ON) is today reported to have fixed Thenamaris’ capesize Seafighter (181,068 dwt, built 2015) on a 12-month period charter at the comparatively healthy rate of $6,950 daily, delivering in China and redelivering worldwide.

Meanwhile, the Baltic Dry Index was assessed 4 points lower than Friday’s level, reaching 293 points today as the Baltic indices contracted again for all dry shipping segments except panamaxes.

The Baltic Panamax Index (BPI) has advanced every consecutive trading day since February 2 and was assessed at 298 points today, up 3 on Friday’s assessment. The BPI’s weighted timecharter average rate advanced by $29 to reach $2,390 per day today.

The BPI has rallied on the back of busy chartering activity as a stream of cargoes is exported out of South America ahead of Chinese New Year. Fewer panamaxes were reported fixed in the region today, so the uptick looks unlikely to continue.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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