The typhoon season in East Asia has lent support to the Capesize freight market as delays in ports have tightened tonnage supply.
The Baltic Exchange’s Capesize index rose 51 points from 17 July to 1,763 points on 20 July, as tonnage is also tight in the Atlantic due to trans-Atlantic coal movements.
Average time-charter rates rose USD400 to USD13,973.
A Singapore-based broker told IHS Maritime, “A couple of typhoons in the Pacific kept many ships at bay in the Shanghai-Zhoushan area this week, resulting in delays and charterers taking ships to cover for 24-30 July loadings. A surge in demand for Australian iron ore fixtures has caused West Australia-Qingdao rates to rise from USD5.30 per tonne last week to USD5.75 per tonne as of 21 July.”
Although the Baltic Exchange assessed the Tubarao-Qingdao rate at USD13.89 per tonne, brokers claim that ships have been fixed at USD14 per tonne.
For trans-Atlantic voyages, a couple of ships were fixed at rates higher than what the Baltic Exchange assessed.
The Baltic Exchange assessed the trans-Atlantic rate at USD16,390, up USD390 from 17 July.
But Bocimar fixed Atlantic Maru for USD17,750 for a trans-Atlantic round voyage.
A daily note from Clarksons Platou said, “It was a particularly strong start of the week with rates for almost all Atlantic routes firming decisively. We hear of USD14.50 per tonne being done for mid-August loading in Brazil for delivery into China and for trans-Atlantic round voyages, we have had ships fixed at USD17.75 per tonne.
“Shipowners are pretty bullish and are looking at the market with a very positive sentiment.”