Dry bulk owners were understandably feeling high-spirited this week. With the orderbook at historic lows, rebounding demand for minor bulks and coal as well as steady growth in iron ore and grain volumes, the dry bulk market is poised to enjoy a strong freight environment over 2021 and into 2022.
The rocketing capsize market led the Baltic Dry Index to its highest levels since September 2010.
Golden Ocean’s chief executive Ulrik Andersen said the capesize market in which it has most exposure was “firing on all cylinders” due to “hefty activity” on all the main trade routes, mainly driven by iron ore demand and growing Brazilian exports.
The BDI was at 2,889 points at the close on April 27, double that at the start of the year, while the Baltic Capesize Index closed at $37,453 per day, the highest since September 2019.
“We see today’s market as a sign of a fundamental change in the supply-demand balance and not a temporary spike,” Mr Andersen said. “It is clear that the stars are aligning for the owners. Couple the robust demand side with a 30-year-low supply growth, and you have the outlines of an attractive market situation, with a runway of a least a few years.”
Seanergy’s chief executive Stamatis Tsantanis said that capesize rates had room to move up further given that Brazil was only exporting half of its capacity, riding at 600,000 tonnes per day from all miners versus a nominal capacity of about 1.2m tonnes per day. Once Brazil normalises its shipments, the market could rise by 30% to 40%, or more, he said.
“We’re bullish and have been for some time, based on a vessel supply squeeze,” he said. “The market is starting to feel this lack of supply.”
The capesize surge coincides with a ramp-up in exports of grains from Brazil and Argentina.