Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize rates to steady after climbing to 8-mth high

Thu Aug 6, 2015 4:18am EDT
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* Freight rates climb after BHP-led charter flurry

* Tight tonnage supply bolsters capesize freight rates

By Keith Wallis

SINGAPORE, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Freight rates for capesize bulk carriers could hold around current levels after reaching their highest in more than eight months this week following a surge of fixtures by Australian miners, ship brokers said.

Rates from Australia to China were around $7.50 per tonne on Thursday, while a voyage from Brazil to China paid around $16 per tonne, Singapore and Shanghai capesize brokers said.

While capesize rates felt softer on Thursday, prices are being supported by tight tonnage supply in both the Atlantic and Pacific, brokers said.

There were about six capesize vessels available for charter in the Atlantic with up to eight ships charter-free in the Pacific, a Shanghai capesize broker said.

Ship brokers had expected rates to soften this week, but they rose by more than $1 per tonne after a raft of deals by BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Cargill as China rebuilt its iron ore stocks, shipping sources said.

A decline in port stocks suggested steel mills have boosted production ahead of production cuts to ensure clean air in Beijing next month for the World War II parade, Australian bank ANZ said in a note on Thursday.   Continued...