Capesize rates dropped by nearly a third this week as owners untied their ships from the piers and let them vie for business.

The Baltic Exchange's time-charter equivalent (TCE) average plummeted 30% to $19,952 per day on Friday from a week ago and moored capesizes fell to 9.6% from 12% of the fleet.

This decline slowed down chartering activity by convincing shipowners to wait for rates to keep dropping, according to Clarksons Platou Securities.

"As expected, activity was low throughout the declining week with owners able to bide their time to take large bites out of rates every time they fixed," it wrote in its daily market report.