The dry bulk market continued falling on Monday as the business of shipping in Asia took a back seat to Chinese New Year, which began on Sunday and will carry on for a full week.
But the entire sector has been on a downward trend for the past month as the world celebrated holiday after holiday and China halted its struggling real estate sector, falling to levels not seen in 2.5 years.
The Baltic Exchange’s Capesize 5TC basket of average spot rates declined 6.7% on Monday to $6,094 per day, marking the latest drop in a steady decline from $23,197 per day on 21 December.
“With much of Asia on holiday celebrating Lunar New Year, the week started predictably very quietly,” Baltic Exchange analysts wrote on Monday.
The average spot rate for the C14 Brazil-to-China iron ore route for capesizes fell the most on Monday out of all average spot rates for individual routes tracked by the Baltic Exchange.
It dropped 8.5% to $4,472 per day on Monday and has fallen 75.6% since 21 December.
The Baltic Exchange reported no capesize bulker fixtures on Monday, but it did make note of several panamax fixtures.
Average spot rates for the smaller bulkers have followed suit as the Asian holiday approached, China held off on buying iron ore while importing less coal and the grain market succumbed to seasonality.
The Panamax 5TC slipped 1.2% to $9,428 per day on Monday after plummeting 34.4% over the same period, while the Supramax 10TC fell 1.1% to $7,097 per day after dropping 42% to $12,133 per day on 21 December.
Despite the falling 5TC, Sea Air Integrated Logistics (SAIL) paid more for a panamax on Monday than it did for one on Friday.
SAIL fixed an unnamed panamax on Friday to carry 75,000 tonnes of coal from Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal in Australia to India’s Vasakhapatnam for $14.85 per tonne.
On Monday, SAIL hired another unnamed panamax on Monday to carry the same amount of coal on the same route at $15.55 per tonne.
The ships are set to be loaded in first half of February.