The dry bulk shipping sector posted its best first half year performance in a decade with rates for Capesize, Panamex and Supramax vessels topping US$30,000/day, Freight Waves reported on 28 June.

“This year’s remarkable rally is yet to run out of steam,” Maritime Strategies International said in its latest outlook.

Rates for Capesize ships rose to US$33,300/day, according to Clarksons Platou Securities, while Panamaxes were earning US$32,800/day and Supramaxes US$31,600/day.

It is rare for rates for all three size categories to simultaneously top US$30,000, as they had for a two-week period, according to the report. Panamax and Supramax rates were now at fresh highs for the year, with the former rates more than double their five-year average and Supramax rates more than triple theirs, Freight Waves wrote.

Oilseeds are usually transported on Panamax vessels, which can carry 60,000-100,000 dwt of cargo, as well as smaller Handymax (35,000-50,000 dwt) or Supramax carriers (50,000-60,000 dwt).

Braemar ACM Shipbroking lead dry cargo analyst Nick Ristic told American Shipper that the strength of the market seemed to be coming from the smaller ships as opposed to Capesizes (above 150,000 dwt).

“Trade on Handie [Handymaxes] and Supras [Supramaxes] has been extremely good, but for Capes, it has been fairly average. There are a lot of inefficiencies and regional imbalances as a result of COVID that are keeping these markets tight, so with that in mind, we expect things to cool as we get toward to the end of this year and into early 2022,” he was quoted as saying.

“We don’t think that rates will fall off a cliff, but given the underlying fundamentals, it doesn’t seem like these levels can be sustained longer than that,” Ristic added.

The dry bulk market includes iron ore, coal, grains, oilseeds, steel, cement, forest products, agricultural products, non-ferrous minerals and metals.