Platts: Bullish Sentiment Prevailing in Atlantic Panamax Market

Bullish Sentiment Prevailing in Atlantic Panamax Market

Sentiment remained bullish in the Atlantic Panamax market with tonnage relatively tight, but there were few fresh stems on offer and trading was slow, Platts quoted sources saying Monday.

The grain route from New Orleans to Qingdao, China, basis 60,000 mt, was unchanged at USD 44.50/mt.

Tonnage remains tight for November 1-10 dates, but this was not reflected in voyage rates, sources said. Charterers may be holding back to see whether the market will keep rising before fixing new stems.

Platts’ shipbroking sources said front-haul prices from the US Gulf to China may weaken for second-half November, mainly because there is not as much cargo on offer for that period as November 1-15.

If rates in the Pacific fall, then more ballasters will start moving to the US Gulf as well, rather than taking North Pacific round voyages, they added.

The coal route from Ventspils, Latvia, to Rotterdam, basis 70,000 mt, was unchanged from Friday at USD 6/mt. There is little cargo on offer from the Baltic, although a charterer said there is typically a rush to get cargo out of the Baltic before sea ice starts forming in early December, which may stimulate demand. European coal stocks are comparatively high though, which may limit volumes, they added.

The Mobile, Alabama to Rotterdam, basis 70,000 mt, coal route was assessed flat at USD 15/mt. The supply of vessels in the US Gulf is relatively low as there are few ballasters coming from the Pacific, but charterers were holding back from fixing on Monday and rates moved horizontally, sources said.

Platts writes that an operator was heard offering a 70,000 mt coal cargo from Davant, Louisiana, to Hunterston, Scotland, for November 11-17. Initial bids were heard at USD 14/mt, but sources think it could be fixed as high as USD 16/mt.

ArcelorMittal were also heard in the market with a fresh 75,000 mt coal stem from Mobile, Alabama, to Gijon, Spain, for November 1-10 loading dates.

The coal route from Hampton Roads to Rotterdam, basis 70,000 mt, was assessed flat at USD 10.50/mt. Though the supply of vessels in the UK Continent market is tighter, there are a number of committed vessels ballasting from there to the US East Coast, which will limit price gains, sources said.

Source: Platts