Capesize paper market had inched up over the past days, despite limited physical trading activity and lower freight rates.
The improvement had led the Baltic Dry Index to rise higher at 599 by Thursday, after the index bottomed out at 411 on Feb 10.
By Thursday, the Capesize 5 time charter average rose by $285 day-on-day to $2,515, with the 2020 and 21 contracts moved sharply higher.
Softening rates in Pacific market
-Pacific market has weakening with shipowners covering at lower freight rates than levels seen in Wednesday.
-Despite the lower rates, FMG was heard to be seeking two ships for moving iron ore from Port Hedland to Qingdao for March 17-19 laycan.
-The coronavirus epidemic had brought more uncertainty to the market and vessel delays as Australia imposed a 14-days quarantine period for ships coming from South Korea.
Exporters seek dry bulk from less available containers
-Dry cargo exporters are switching containerized freight to bulk chartering due to shortage of containers for transporting dry goods in the Europe and North American market.
-According to Container xChange, there are currently 47% more containers in Shanghai compared with Week 10 of 2019, but 33% fewer in Hamburg.
-India was also heard to be short of containers for its traders, prompting more exporters to look at the depressed dry bulk freight market to alleviate the shortage.
-Thus, many exporters had shifted their Q2 shipments to smaller bulk vessel to transport cashew to India amid the African cashew shipping season.