Stiff Rate Increases Seen For Atlantic Capers

Friday, October 01, 1999
Some stiff rate increases for Atlantic capers were seen for business to China and for trans-Atlantic coal, brokers said last Wednesday. Panamax rates were still drifting from the U.S. Gulf due to lack of orders, but levels in the Far East for these vessels remained firmer, they added. Conditions for handy size vessels and to a lesser extent smaller geared tonnage, were generally better in the Atlantic. The Baltic Freight Index (BFI) rose six points to 1,223, the Baltic Panamax Index gained five points to 1,186, the Baltic Handy Index firmed seven points to 930, and the Baltic Capesize Index was also up seven points to 1,412. In the grain sector, brokers said they were not surprised by reports that the 1998 built Mint Condition had been fixed by unnamed charterers for 54,000 tons heavy grain U.S. Gulf/Japan for mid October at a weaker $21 no combo. They said this fixture confirmed the decline of the U.S. Gulf panamax market. On the minerals side, talk circulated the market of significantly higher rates conceded by charterers for capers in the trans-Atlantic coal trade, and rates iron ore business to China was said to have jumped sharply.

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