Panamax coal freight rates to India pressured by oversupply of vessels
Panamax coal freight rates on established routes from South Africaâ€™s Richards Bay and Indonesia to India ended the week stable to lower on Friday as an oversupply of vessels outstripped demand, sources said.
Platts assessed the daily Panamax freight rates from South Kalimantan to the west coast of India at $8.50/mt and to the east coast of India at $7.50/mt, both unchanged on-day but down 50 cents and 25 cents week-on-week, respectively.
Platts also assessed the daily Panamax freight rates from Richards Bay to the west coast of India at $14.50/mt and to the east coast of India at $15/mt, both unchanged day-on-day and week-on-week.
Activity on the east coast of South America (ECSA) remained steady and coal-cargo movement in the Pacific basin was strong, but there were plenty of vessels available, sources said.
â€œMany June requirements have now been covered, and with no shortage of ballasting vessels expected to arrive at the usual EC S America grain ports next month, forward voyage freights have taken another tumble,â€ broker Braemar Seascope said in its weekly note on Thursday.
A Panamax coal fixture was reported earlier this week from the east coast of Australia to Paradip Port on the east coast of India at $16.20/mt, sources said.
â€œA pessimistic short-term outlook is causing owners to rethink their strategy, and appetite for coal trips from Indonesia or EC Australia into EC India have waned compared to the last couple of weeks,â€ Braemar said.
Short Pacific round trips are increasing in popularity amongst owners given the market circumstances, but Indonesian coal volumes have not been sufficient to match the growing tonnage list, the broker said.
A Thailand-based source said that although there were several inquiries for coal cargoes, freight rates remained subdued due to a fall in bunker prices.
Grain activity from ECSA has been stable and the Pacific basin has been supported by some coal cargoes, but wide availability of tonnages is helping charterers to push down Panamax freight rates, Greek shipbroker Intermodal said in its weekly note on Tuesday.
â€œThe forward curve is falling gradually, as could be the trend for the coming weeks,â€ broker Fearnleys said in its weekly note on Wednesday.
â€œIn the Eastern hemisphere volumes are low and new business scarce. With a long list of open tonnage many owners still look for ECSA runs,â€ the broker said.
RICHARDS BAY INACTIVE
A Dubai-based source noted that activity on the west coast of India had decreased slightly this week, adding that nearly 90% of the vessels were avoiding piracy zones when making their voyages to India, reducing costs.
There are some limestone and other cargoes coming into India from the Persian Gulf, he noted, adding that coal cargoes from Indonesia to India were available for both Supramaxes and Panamaxes.
However, activity on the Richards Bay to India route remains muted for Panamaxes, although a few cargoes were available for both Supramax and Capesize vessels, sources said.
A Singapore-based source said that a Supramax cargo had been recently fixed from Richards Bay to the east coast of India at $17/mt. For Capesizes on this route, owners were seeking rates of $11/mt, while charterersâ€™ ideas were not immediately available, he added.
Source: The Shipping Tribune â€“ 18 May 2013
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