Capers Continue Firm, Uncertainty Rules Panamaxes

Friday, December 17, 1999
Conditions for Capesize vessels remained firm on Dec. 10, especially in the Atlantic, but uncertainty ruled the Panamax sector as owners sought to cover their vessels in advance of impending holidays, brokers said. Lower rates were reported in the Atlantic and the Pacific, but brokers said the Indian Ocean and South African sectors stayed firm. The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) rose four points to 1,360, the Baltic Panamax Index was unchanged at 1,277, the Baltic Capesize Index gained 14 points to 1,895 and the Baltic Handy Index fell two to 917. Grain: Weaker rates for modern Panamaxes were reported in the Atlantic, brokers said. Cargill fixed the 1996-built Eleni 73,000 dwt delivery Continent prompt for a transatlantic round voyage at a modest $8,750 daily. Some brokers believed the Panamax sector in Brazil and Argentina would become stronger but that this had yet to be reflected in reported fixtures. Ledra 64,000 dwt was said to have been fixed by Andre delivery Plate end December for a trip to Skaw/Cape Passero at a modest $7,400 daily plus $140,000 ballast bonus. The U.S. Gulf sector was quiet and brokers were awaiting fixtures to Egypt to give further guidance about market direction. In the Far East Dreyfus was believed to have fixed 54,000 tons heavy grain north Pacific to Japan for early January on subjects at an easier $13.80. Minerals: Cargill fixed Ken Kon for 140,000 tons iron ore from Brazil to Fos at a stronger $6.95, and Coeclerici was thought to have fixed 140,000 tons coal from Richards Bay to Rotterdam for first half January shipment at a firmer $9. However, Panamax rates fell in the Atlantic with Daphne fixed by Navios for 54,000 tons bauxite from Kamsar to Aughinish for early January at $6, and Noble booked the 1997-built Navios Minerva 69,600 dwt delivery Japan mid December for a north Pacific round voyage at a significantly lower $9,300 daily. - (Reuters)
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