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Dry bulk: Capesize freight rates continue upward trend

While the market started off on a rather quiet note, freight rates for the Asia Pacific and Atlantic Capesize routes continued to surge Thursday as industry sources witnessed a flurry of trades later in the day.

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A ship operator source tracking the Capesize market expected the market to continue trending upwards and said "the market's sentiment is really looking bullish, and there are more cargoes in the market than what a lot of people expected."

A Hong Kong-based shipbroker agreed that the market was bullish as there was keen interest from operators for vessels on a one-year time charter period.

A chartering source with a mining company however, was skeptical about the rally and said "it's looking a little bubbly, the fundamentals are looking weak -- there are still a lot of vessels in the market."



On the Western Australia-Qingdao route, Rio Tinto was heard to have fixed a Capesize vessel from Dampier to Qingdao at $6.90/wmt for January 13 onwards loading dates, but further details could not be confirmed.

BHP was heard seeking a Capesize vessel from Port Hedland to Qingdao for January 18 onwards loading dates.

It was later heard to have fixed a Capesize vessel at $7/wmt, but further details could not be confirmed.

Roy Hill was heard to have fixed a Capesize vessel from west coast Australia to Qingdao at $6.90/wmt for January 15 onwards loading dates, but further details could not be confirmed.

The freight rate for a Capesize vessel to move iron ore from Port Hedland to Qingdao was assessed at $7/wmt, up 65 cents/wmt from Wednesday.

Among other cargoes and fixtures heard in the region, OneSteel was heard seeking a Capesize vessel from Whyalla to Qingdao for January 25-31 laycan.

Cliffs Resources was heard to have fixed MV Aqua Venture from Esperance to China for January 19 onwards loading dates at $8.45/wmt In the Atlantic, JERA was heard seeking a Capesize vessel from Bolivar to Rotterdam for January 18-27 laycan.

Cargill was heard to have fixed MV Polymnia on a time charter trip for a trans-Atlantic round voyage for January 6 delivery dates at $25,000/day, DOP Ijmuiden.

On the front haul, Oldendorff was heard to have fixed MV Cape Keystone from Tubarao to Qingdao at $16.85/wmt, but further details could not be confirmed.

It was later heard seeking a Capesize vessel on the route for February 1-10 laycan, bidding at $17/wmt.

LDC was heard seeking a Capesize vessel from Tubarao to Qingdao for February 1-10 laycan, bidding at $17/wmt.

The freight rate for a Capesize vessel to move iron ore from Tubarao to Qingdao was assessed at $17.50/wmt, up $1.50/wmt from Wednesday.

From South Africa, Oldendorff was heard seeking a vessel to carry 150,000 mt (plus/minus 10%) coal from Richards Bay to Krishnapatnam for January 21-30 laycan.

The freight rate for a Capesize vessel to move iron ore to Qingdao from Saldanha Bay was assessed at $13.25/wmt, up $1.25/wmt day on day.