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Baltic Exchange Shipping Insights
Rates in the Middle East Gulf remained under pressure with 270,000 tonnes going to China dropping three points to around WS 40, whilst going west the levels remained stagnant at WS 20 cape/cape basis 280,000 size.
West Africa to China is paying around WS 43.5 basis 260,000 tonnes cargo, down a mere half point. In the North Sea, Hound Point has re-opened and runs to South Korea were fixed at US$4.15/4.175 million.
Fuel oil from Rotterdam to Singapore went on Iranian tonnage at US$3.0 million.
Caribs to Singapore was covered at US$3.5 million while EC Mexico and US Gulf to three ports Japan went at US$5.1 million.
West Africa continued to soften with plenty of available tonnage, rates eased five points to mid WS 50s for 130,000 tonnes to Europe.
Black Sea rates have held at around WS 65/66 region basis 135,000 cargo.
Litasco paid WS 65 for 130,000 tonnes from Sidi Kerir to Med while an Algeria/Singapore trip was fixed at US$1.875 million.
A grim week as owners saw rates tumble from low WS 100s with ENI able to fix at WS 87.5 for 80,000 tonnes cross Med although Black Sea has been paying WS 100 region.
Rates for 100,000 tonnes from Baltic to UKC have been steady at WS 65 with cross North Sea rates for 80,000 tonnes holding at WS 97.5.
Last week was active in the 70,000 tonnes Caribbean/up coast trade and combined with fog delays, this pushed rates up 25 points to a peak of WS 132.5, however there were rumours on Friday of 120 being fixed.
Despite the spike on rates for aframaxes, the Caribs up coast panamax market weakened a further 30 points to WS 110 level, leading tonnage to look at ballasting across and rates for 55,000 tonnes from ARA or Skikda have been hovering in the low WS 100s although there is talk of a major having paid WS 110 here.
LR1s for 55,000 tonnes Middle East Gulf/Japan lost almost 10 points to around WS 87.5 level, whilst for 75,000 tonnes from Middle East Gulf/Japan the drop was only about 2.5 points to around WS 79.50/80.
The 38,000 tonnes backhaul trade from US Gulf/UKCont saw an active week with rates nudging up 10 points to almost WS 140 level, meantime the 37,000 tonnes Cont/USAC market was fairly flat and rates hovering around WS 150, with signs of possible downward pressure.
It looked set to be a gloomy end to the week particularly in the East where a tentative recovery seen after the holidays had been short lived.
Then a brief respite as reports surfaced that US$6.10 was done on the West Australia/China run but this reportedly referred to timecharter business fixed earlier but this did drive paper values up.
As the week closed out, Rio Tinto and FMG were in the market and said seeing tonnage under US$6.00 but some owners preferred to wait.
Timecharter rates took a hit with a 180,000-tonner 2010-built open Bayuquan allegedly agreeing US$10,000 daily for a round voyage in the east and similarly, short haul runs dropped sharply.
Some owners were considering the ballast to look for opportunities from Brazil or South Africa, but trade from both areas has been slow.
Rates from Tubarao to Qingdao were nearer the low US$16.00 range for end January/early February cargoes.
The north Atlantic market had been the punchiest where a tight supply of tonnage and demand for ships able to breach INL drove rates higher.
At the peak, timecharter equivalents for ships prepared to load from the St. Lawrence for the run east were said in the low US$40,000s daily.
Transatlantic rates too reached levels around US$30,000 daily, but here too the market came under pressure and rates were shaved as the week closed out. Reports suggested the rate from Puerto Bolivar to Rotterdam was nearing US$11.00.
Spot rates were in a slow decline during the week, but period interest remained steady, especially for one year with modern kamsarmaxes fixing at US$13,000 daily.
The gap between the bid and offer widened as the week progressed, the FFA market weakened with charterers hoping to take advantage of the negative sentiment while owners preferred to fix single trips and wait.
The Pacific market was lethargic all week. There was abundant tonnage with fresh enquiry falling short but weather caused delays and some charterers were forced back into the market for replacement ships.
There was healthy volume from Indonesia, but this has not been supported elsewhere, with a distinct lack of January stems prompting owners to fixing either short rounds or considering ballasting.
The East coast South American market was very busy for January dates but despite this activity rates slipped from around US$15,500 plus a US$550,000 ballast bonus to US$14,500 plus US$450,000 ballast bonus for kamsarmaxes as the week wore on.
The US Gulf saw several vessels failing on subjects for front haul earlier in the week due to barging problems. In the North, rates were largely steady for the short rounds.
A slow beginning but as the week progressed some key areas saw improved activity certainly within the Atlantic.
There was more interest for short period with charterers looking for cover.
Strong demand from the US Gulf saw a big improvement in rates with ultramax sizes seeing in the mid US$20,000s for trips to the East and vessels booked in the low US$20,000s for transatlantic business.
The Continent also saw a tightening of tonnage with some tempted to ballast to the US Gulf. Slightly improved activity at the end of the week in the Mediterranean with an ultramax booked for a trip from Canakkale via the Black Sea to India in the mid US$16,000s.
A flat week from east coast South America with little fresh enquiry and few changes in rates. Increased activity in the Asian market was tempered by the amount of prompt tonnage.
The expectation of a busier week in the first full week back after the holidays failed to materialize and the BHSI dropped a few points with most routes remaining in negative territory. There was some talk of period activity in the later part of the week.
The Atlantic market had a lacklustre mood and a 37,000-dwt was fixed delivery Canakkale prompt for a trip via Turkey with steels to the Continent at US$8,300.
Asia saw some activity but towards the end of the week but negative sentiment set in with brokers suggesting downward pressure on rates from north Asia but steadier in the south.
New Baltic Exchange LNG Panellists Group:
Following an approach by leading Baltic Exchange LNG shipbroking companies, the Baltic Exchange has formed the Baltic LNG Panellists Group. The move comes as the Baltic Exchange looks to develop a new Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Index comprising several routes for the evolving LNG shipping market. Affinity, Braemar ACM, Clarksons and SSY are the LNG Panellists Group's first members and they are currently assessing a range of LNG routes before reporting moves to a trial phase.
This report is produced by the Baltic Exchange.
The Baltic Exchange, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Exchange, is the world's only independent source of maritime market information for the trading and settlement of physical and derivative contracts. Its international community of over 650 members encompasses the majority of world shipping interests and commits to a code of business conduct overseen by the Baltic.
For daily freight market reports and assessments, please visit www.balticexchange.com.
- The report is also available online at bt.sg/baltic.