Quick update on shipping near term shipping condtions: As most of you know rates have backed off their january rebounds. This was expected, is common and will subside- the slowing of fixing and subsequent drop in rates is primarily due to the coming of the Chinese new year, what we're witnessing is not abnormal... And for all you forward looking market participants, you should be aware that in spite of the recent decline in the BDI, FFA's have been rising every day for capesizes, panamex, and handymax vessels... Forward contracts for the month of march are all higher than current levels, same goes for Q2... this shows that the market (the participants) expects rates to rebound off of jan-feb levels. Here are some excerpts you may find informative/helpful:... anyways, gl all.
"Earlier the 1982-built 141,000-dwt Fighting Lady fixed and failed with Glory Wealth for 21 February delivery Xingang for an Australian round voyage at $45,000 daily. The charterer does have in-house tonnage, brokers said." "There was some interest evident for tonnage to move cargoes from South America to the east, which could push rates up as owners for now prefer to stay in the Atlantic rather than go east where market was weaker. Owners would rather discount to stay in the Atlantic, brokers said. However there were already signs that the east was bouncing back despite the Lunar New Year holidays. In the physical trades there was news that Argentina is hoping to make its first-ever wheat sales to China, the world's top wheat grower and consumer, Reuters said citing a top Argentine agricultural official. Argentine Undersecretary for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food Claudio Sabsay told Reuters sales to Asia included 1 million tonnes of corn and 6 million tonnes of soy in the 2005 marketing season. In an email message on Saturday, he also said: "The US A estimated that China could import 8 million tonnes of wheat this year, and Argentina hopes to conclude negotiations for 1 million tonnes." Sabsay concluded a trade mission to Beijing in January. However the US Gulf remained very slow and would likely keep a check on rates, they added. Spot rates had eased particularly for those owners needing to fix while the Lunar New Year holidays are in full swing, but this seems to have flushed out European charterers who have been taking tonnage and for period charter. The market in the east does appear to be having a bounce back. In the US Gulf, brokers suggested that prospects for the forward market were looking brighter although early tonnage was finding trading more difficult. From this side (atlantic), there was also a slightly more optimistic feel to the Mediterranean/Black Sea area with a number of vessels being concluded, although exact details were difficult to obtain."