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Asia dry bulk rates to remain low

Rates for dry bulk carriers on key Asian freight routes are expected to hover near multi-year lows over the next week as an increase in trading activity fails to offset pressure from an ever expanding fleet, ship brokers said.

Asia dry bulk rates to remain low
05 February 2012 - 22:52

Rates for dry bulk carriers on key Asian freight routes are expected to hover near multi-year lows over the next week as an increase in trading activity fails to offset pressure from an ever expanding fleet, ship brokers said.

The rate for panamax vessels travelling via the transpacific route tumbled to a three-year low of US$4,974 on Wednesday from US$5,915 last week as a supply glut continued to weigh on the market.

'With the Baltic Panamax index at 694, we are now below the depressing market we experienced at the beginning of 2009,' said broker firm Fearnleys. 'This week we did, however, see more fresh cargoes, but the tonnage list is just growing day by day.'

In the supramax market, intra-Asia freight rates for shipments from Australia to Japan and South Korea, two major coal importers, dropped to a three-year low of US$4,995 from US$5,586 last week.

Rates from the east coast of India to China fell to a 38-month low of US$5,348 from US$5,950 last week.

'There have been a number of fixtures today in the market, however most of the deals have been done on Indonesian coal into India,' said broker firm ICAP.

Benchmark capesize fixture rates from Australia to China eased to US$7.613 a tonne on Wednesday from US$7.695 last week. The market hit an eight-month low of US$7.583 two weeks ago.
'The market continues to be horrible. Rates and activity have not improved even after the Chinese have returned to work after the Lunar New Year holidays,' Fearnleys said.

Rates for the Brazil-China route fell to US$19.279 from US$19.423 last week. The market dropped to an eight-month low of US$19.254 on Tuesday.

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