Dry Cargo

Handies up for 30 consecutive days

Handysize bulk carriers have traded up for 30 days straight, something not seen in any bulk segment since the supercycle days of 2003 to 2008.

The Baltic Exchange said the 7TC moved to $17,603 day yesterday, up by $592 a day. The Baltic Exchange also noted a string of timecharter contracts including one concluded in the Atlantic for up to six months at $17,750 a day.

Commentators are waiting for a pause in the market to see what the floor will be, with some suggesting $15,000 in the Atlantic is likely and $13,000 in the Pacific for one-year periods by the end of March.

Lorentzen & Stemoco Research last week upgraded its projected average earnings for handies in 2021 from $9,500 a day to a very profitable $14,000 a day.

“It’s not just handies, as panamaxes are flying as well in recent weeks,” commented Ralph Leszczynski, global head of research at Banchero Costa. Leszczynski said rising commodity prices were propelling shipping rates upwards.

“If you look at commodity prices, everything is flying: iron ore prices are up 100% year-on-year, steel prices are up 30% year-on-year, soybean and corn prices are up 50% year-on-year, wheat and sugar prices are up 20%,” Leszczynski said.

The debate about an upcoming commodity supercycle forms the centrepiece of the February issue of Splash Extra, which launched today.

Mentions of supercycles in the media have leapt by 400% over the past month as commodity prices have jumped. Speculation about a commodity supercycle has in turn seen dry bulk operators report a frenzied month of fixtures, prompting many shipowners to rekindle memories of shipping’s last great supercycle, which came to a shuddering halt in 2008.

Priced for as little as $200 a year, Splash Extra serves as a concise monthly snapshot, ensuring readers are on top of where the shipping markets are headed.

For more details on Splash Extra subscriptions, click here.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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