Capesize market came under pressure upon market concerns over country’s lockdown to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
South Africa had issued a 21 days nationwide lockdown and closed its mines that disrupted the shipment of iron ore.
This bearish sentiment was reflected in the southward movement of forward freight agreement (FFA) as trade participants waited for further South African miners’ announcement on affected production volume.
Modest demand in Pacific market
The Pacific market continued to see decent demand of fixtures, however the freight rates failed to draw supports and edged lower.
Mining majors had fixed ships for moving iron ore from west Australian to China, with Rio Tinto heard to take around six ships, the BHP two vessels and FMG for one vessel.
Most shipowners were heard to prefer keeping vessels in the Pacific market due to market uncertainty in mining and port operations as well as volatile bunker prices.
Bunker price rebounds by higher crude prices
VLSFO prices rose by $18 day-on-day to $285/mt at the port of Singapore, amid crude oil price volatility.
Brent crude prices dipped slightly from $30 per barrel, while WTI crude slid toward $23 per barrel level.
Some trade participants were expecting US stimulus package around $2 trillion to spur the oil market, though the market is likely to go south due to more countries’ lockdowns and various travel restriction imposed to curb the coronavirus pandemic.