Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize rates to hold near 5-month high on stable cargo volumes
* Capesize sector confused as it waits for direction - broker
* Iron ore stocks at China's ports less than a year ago - broker
* Iron ore futures hit highest since Aug. 2014 on Monday
By Keith Wallis
SINGAPORE, April 28 (Reuters) - Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo ships on key Asian routes are likely to hold close to five-month highs next week, buoyed by stable cargo volumes and higher bunker prices, although the large number of idle ships could weigh on the market, ship brokers said.
"I think the market will stay at this level until the market sees clearer signs from other elements, including iron ore, coal demand and oil prices," said a Shanghai-based capesize broker said.
Iron ore futures in China slipped on Thursday after hitting 502 yuan per tonne on Monday, its strongest since August 2014, while there was a severe shortage of coking coal and coke.
At present, stockpiles of iron ore at Chinese ports are around 100 million tonnes, down from the 115 million tonnes stored at ports a year ago, ship broker Banchero Costa said in a dry bulk cargo report on Thursday.
Iron ore and coal are the stable cargoes of capesize vessels which can each carry more than 170,000 tonnes of the two commodities. Continuación...