Dry Cargo

Supramax spot rates hit $20,000 for the first time in a decade, handies smash records

Supramax rates have sky rocketed by more than 40% in the last week, crossing the $20,000 a day mark for the first time in a decade while handysizes have recorded 31 consecutive days of improving rates.

Supramax rates on the Baltic Exchange have shown “magnificent” gains on all routes, Norwegian broker Fearnleys noted in a market update.

Supramaxes are being tipped by many brokers to surpass panamax earnings today.

“Strong physical demand in both basins, though the feeling is toppish,” Fearnleys suggested, adding that ships in the Indian Ocean had been the biggest winners this week.

Another Norwegian brokerage, Lorentzen & Stemoco, reported today that the rise in the spot market for both supramaxes and ultramaxes comes as timecharter interest is building with period contracts being done. A nine-year-old 57,000 dwt supramax was taken on subs for four to six months at $17,500 a day.

Meanwhile, the handysize winning streak continues, rising for 31 trading days in a row. The Baltic’s handysize index broke records yesterday, jumping to over 1,000 points or a TCE of $18,316 per day, up by $713 a day, as more support came from the east coast of South America.

Firming spot rates have also seen a scramble for secondhand tonnage. February dry bulk spending is up an overwhelming $577m (+151%) compared to last year, according to data from VesselsValue, who noted in an email to Splash: “The cocktail of strong rates and high S&P activity has seen bulker values firm across the board.”

The stunning rise of the handysize market was analysed in the latest issue of Splash Extra, which published yesterday.

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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