Dry-bulk rates are set to sink

Chartering rates for dry-bulk carriers are expected to drop further, a Bloomberg survey showed yesterday. The key Baltic Dry Index will shrink to 2,950 points in the third quarter of 2009, respondents said. It has already declined by 17 percent since the start of the month and closed yesterday at 3,407 points. The problems faced globally in securing bank funding and the stagnation in international trade led Cosco, the biggest dry-bulk fleet manager in the world, to cancel its order for eight new carriers worth $299 million. Separately in Greece, the Tsakos Group has proceeded with ordering two new Suezmax tankers with a capacity of 158,000 tons from the Sungdong shipyard in South Korea. A Lloyd’s List report suggested that a second order is likely to follow the first, whose cost comes to $72 million per ship and is within the market’s current price range. It was the first order the Korean shipyard had received in the last nine months.