Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize rates to stay flat on overcapacity, cargo woes
By Keith Wallis
SINGAPORE July 31 (Reuters) - Rates for capesize bulk carriers on key Asian routes are set to remain in the doldrums next week, staying flat or gaining just a few cents as an oversupply of ships weighs on cargo availability, ship brokers said.
But there could be brighter prospects in the coming weeks on rates for voyages from Brazil to China if chartering activity increases, brokers added.
"There's no real direction to the capesize market. There's not enough cargo volume," one Singapore based capesize broker said on Thursday.
Around 35 capesize ship were chartered last week to haul iron ore from Australia and Brazil to China, the largest number of capesize vessels fixed since September 2013, Jeffrey Landsberg, managing director of New York shipping consultant, Commodore Research & Consultancy, said in a note on Tuesday.
But a lack of coal cargoes coupled with increased tonnage capacity from new capesize ship deliveries has kept a lid on freight rates despite the rise in iron ore fixtures, brokers said.
"There's only been a couple of coal cargoes from Australia this week," the Singapore broker said.
Maintenance at Saldanha Bay, South Africa's leading commodities loading port, has limited the number of shipments, reducing chartering volumes, the broker added.
"Dull and without direction despite widespread expectations of near-term recovery," was how Norwegian ship broker Fearnley described the capesize market this week in a research note on Wednesday. Continuación...