Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize rates continue to fall on cargo woes
By Keith Wallis
SINGAPORE Oct 16 (Reuters) - Rates for capesize bulk carriers on key Asian routes are again likely to fall as the volume of tonnage limits any price gains from an increase in chartering activity, brokers said.
Freight rates for a voyage from Australia to China have steadily fallen since Sept. 30 and are the lowest since May 22. Rates from Brazil to China have fallen for the last six weeks and are now the weakest since January 2013.
"We don't know how low rates can go. The capesize market is just in a rut," said a Singapore-based capesize ship broker on Thursday.
Moves by ship owners to resist charterers' attempts to push rates lower have failed because there is too much tonnage available, the broker said.
"Some owners have been brave and have tried to fight charterers but there are so many ships, owners have to take competition from other owners into account," the broker said.
Charterers are now chartering ships for loading in mid-November, making it more unlikely there will be a traditional fourth-quarter rebound in the capesize market.
"I don't see the market changing massively in the next couple of weeks," the broker said.
"A relatively good number of West Australia to China roundtrips are being concluded, but rates are further down, presently being around $7.25-$7.30 per tonnes," Norwegian ship broker Fearnley said in a weekly market note on Wednesday. Continuación...