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Charterers take their pick as dry bulk market tumbles

THE Baltic Dry Index continued to tumble on Friday, dropping 417 points to 3,746, less than a third of what it was at its year high of 11,793 on May 20. Traders selling freight derivatives have taken some of the blame for undermining confidence in the physical market, spurred on by plummeting time charter rates as spare tonnage grows. The Chinese steelmakers’ dispute with Brazil’s Vale over contracted iron ore rates, has all but halted chartering, with rumours that the Chinese are using domestic supplies, including large stockpiles of ore at their ports. The capesize average time charter rate fell $6,454 to $46,162 per day, $20,000 less than last Friday, with the Pacific round voyage rate experiencing the sharpest fall, plummeting $9,192 to $34,308 per day. Swiss Marine swooped to fix at low rates, chartering three capesizes for redelivery worldwide, including the 180,265 dwt 2005-built Navios Fantastiks for delivery in China and 12 months trading, and the 174,766 dwt 2004-built Xin Fa Hai for delivery in Tarragona and 2.5 years trading, for $55,000 per day and $52,500 per day respectively. Last week Classic Maritime was fixing capesizes for redelivery worldwide at $100,000 per day. The Baltic Panamax Index also fell - by 669 points to at 3,458, with an time charter equivalent rate of $28,025 per day, down $6,454, below the supramax average time charter of $30,585, which was down just $909 in comparison. Rates for the panamax fronthaul rate and pacific round voyage fell the most, dropping $6,613 to $33,500 per day and $6,148 to $28,466 per day respectively. STX Pan Ocean fixed the 76,652 dwt 2005-built Double Happiness for a Pacific round voyage via Australia for $24,000 daily, while an unreported charterer fixed the 55,538 dwt 2005-built Dubai Crown for a similar route for $26,000 per day. Some charterers were paying well over the time charter rate, with Eitzen fixing the 52,224 dwt 2001-built supramax Koriana for delivery in north coast South America with delivery in the north continent/Baltic for $48,500 per day. The Baltic Handysize Index had the smallest fall, dropping just 60 points to 1,527 with a fall of $891 for the time charter average rate to $22,378.

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