Rates for capesize bulk carriers on key Asian routes are set to slide next week as too many ships chase too few cargoes from Australia and Brazil, brokers said.
There are around 32 capesize ships in ballast and currently available for charter, with another 72 ships becoming free in the next two weeks, a Singapore-based capesize broker told Reuters on Thursday.
By comparison 24 capesize ships were fixed on charter for the week up to Wednesday, Reuters shipping data showed.
"I think the capesize market will be slightly softer. It's had its rally but it was shortlived," the broker said.
Freight rates for a voyage from Brazil to China hit $23.20 a tonne on Tuesday, the highest level since April 2, after Brazilian iron ore miner Vale chartered several ships.
Charter rates for a voyage from Western Australia to China climbed to $8.26 per tonne, the highest since June 10, following a raft of fixtures by miners such as Fortescue Metals Group .
Rates for the Western Australia-China route closed at $8.26 per tonne on Wednesday, although the last concluded fixture was lower at $8.08 per tonne.
Freight rates for the Brazil-China route closed at $23.20 per tonne on Wednesday, with the last fixture lower at $22.80.
"I don't see any reason why charterers will pay a premium over the index," the Singapore broker said.
(By Keith Wallis)