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Handy and supramax dry markets make a comeback, capes still dead

London: The handysize, supramax and panamax dry cargo shipping markets have sprung back to life, but the capesize market continues to decline, shipbroker Fearnleys says.

The increased availability of cargo for loading in the second half March and in early April has breathed fresh life into the handysize segment.

Fearnleys said timecharter average rates in the Atlantic are up around $1,000 this week compared to last week, “and are now being fixed in region of upper $6,000s”, the broker said in its report for this week.

The Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI) grew by 10 points on yesterday to reach 348 today. The BSHI timecharter average (basis 28,000-dwt vessel) today jumped by $137 to a daily rate of $5,046, according to Baltic Exchange data.

Similarly, the Baltic Supramax Index (BSI) climbed 10 points to 560 points since yesterday. The timecharter average rose to $5,857/day today, up by $102 on yesterday’s level (basis 52,454-dwt vessel).

At the other end of the market, the Baltic Capesize Index (BCI) has declined every day for the past 23 days (February 10), falling 14 points on yesterday to 464 points today.

The index’s timecharter average (basis four capesize T/C routes) fell a huge $210 to a daily rate of $3,579 today for a 172,000-dwt vessel, compared to yesterday.

Two more capesize vessels were scrapped today, in addition to the one scrapped yesterday.

South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is reported to have sold two 15-year-old capes, Hyundai Universal (200,000 dwt, built 2000) (and the 151,000-dwt Hyundai Prosperity (also built 2000). Reports cite the scrap price as $380/ton ldt, or $9.6m and $7m for each vessel respectively.

Fearnleys is more cautiously optimistic about the panamax market this week: “Not only the activity is picking up but also the rates are showing positive signs in both hemispheres. However we still have long lists of open tonnage in every corner of the world, thus we need this increased activity to last for a bit longer before we can celebrate.”

The broker reports in increased activity in grain exports from the east coast of South America, “but with many ballasters on the way the fronthaul rates are staying low around $10,000 daily + around 120,000 BB [ballast bonus]”.

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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