You are here

Baltic Exchange Shipping Insights

A roundup of the week's tanker and dry bulk market




It was one-way traffic for the Capesize market this past week, with all routes giving up value. While downward momentum may have slowed a touch by Friday, the Capesize 5TC took a trouncing, losing $5,702 to settle at an almost six-month low of $18,002.

Fixing activity was solid throughout the week, especially in the Pacific as charterers took advantage of owners scrambling to fix.

Market voices on:

Some suggest this new level could bring about an increase in enquiry, as trading activity is currently thought to be healthy overall, albeit in a declining market.

With the strength of the Pacific in recent weeks, imbalances in tonnage supply to the West are already being mentioned.

Vessels are continuing to be heard fixing for cargoes out of Eastern Canada on fronthaul, but the tonnage in the Atlantic looks to be tightening.

The Brazil to China C3 opened the week at $21.615 to close Friday at $18.96. The C5 opened at $10.295 to end the week down at $8.364.


The firmer market continued this week, with indices rising. In the Atlantic to East Coast South America (ECSA), grain cargoes continued to push the market.

Rates increased slightly on the week, with the high being $15,000 plus $500,000 ballast bonus paid for an 82,000dwt ship.

Activity picked up this week around the US Gulf and coupled with an effervescent Baltic market, rates in the North Atlantic saw significant rises. We even witnessed a couple of deals with Japan delivery to cover US Gulf grain trips to the Far East, with the high being an 81,000dwt vessel achieving $14,000 retro to Japan.

In Asia, it remained relatively steady and an 85,000dwt ship agreed a strong $14,500 coming from Australia for a round trip to China.

A quieter week from Indonesia, but we saw an 81,000dwt vessel agree to $14,000 for the Indonesia to China coal trip. The week's low was a 76,000dwt ship fixing at $9,000 for similar business.


A mixed week for the Baltic Supramax Index (BSI) which overall remained flat. Limited period cover came to light, but a 52,000dwt ship open in the US East Coast was fixed for three to five months, trading at around $13,000.

In the Atlantic, it was finely balanced from the Mediterranean - Continent region. A 63,000dwt vessel fixing a scrap run from the United Kingdom to the East Mediterranean in the mid $12,000s.

ECSA saw an increase in demand, with rates improving. An Ultramax fixing a trip to the Arabian Gulf in the $14,000s, plus a low $400,000s ballast bonus.

The Asian Basin became quiet as the week progressed, with a 63,000dwt ship fixing delivery for a Singapore trip via Indonesia, for redelivery to China at $11,000.

A 56,000dwt vessel was also fixed from China to the Arabian Gulf in the low $6,000s.

The Indian Ocean remained static, with a 55,000dwt ship fixing delivery to Mumbai via the Arabian Gulf, for redelivery to West Coast India at $9,000.


The Baltic Handy Size Index (BHSI) raised a few points and then went flat. Not much improvement from vessels open in the Skaw-Passero range. However, ECSA and the US Gulf market climbed throughout the week. A large, Handysize vessel was clean fixed at $12,500 basis US Gulf delivery for a trip to East Mediterranean.

A 37,000dwt ship, open Canakkale, was fixed for a trip via the Black Sea to the Continent at $7,500.

From ECSA, similar-sized ships were fixed to West Coast South America (WCSA) ranging from the mid $15,000s, to low $17,000s.

The Pacific Basin remained quiet, with minimal changes on the period front. A 36,000dwt vessel, open in the Sea of Marmara, was booked for three to five months at $10,000, with redelivery in the Atlantic.



Rates for 270,000mt Middle East Gulf (MEG) to China pushed up, from WS100 at the start of the week, to WS112.5. However, they came under pressure mid-week and have now fallen back to WS105.

For 280,000mt to US Gulf Cape/Cape rates have hovered around the WS57.5 level.

For 260,000mt West Africa to China, rates firmed early on and have settled in the WS102.5 region.

Fixing activity, however, has been quiet lately. Rates for the 270,000mt trips from the US Gulf to China has been boosted by increased activity to $11.4m level. This is up $0.5m from a week ago.


The market for 130,000mt West Africa/UK-Continent (UKC) has seen a slight firming, to WS140-142.5 level, up from WS137.5 a week ago.

Black Sea/Mediterranean rates for 135,000mt have been maintained at the WS145-147.5 mark, whilst 140,000mt Basrah/Mediterranean was again steady in the low/mid WS60s.


Western Hemisphere rates have seen gains this week.

The 80,000mt cross North Sea market rocketed from WS182.5 to WS250 level and the 100,000mt Baltic/UK Continent improved by 45 points to WS205 region.

The 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera has moved up 15 points to around WS192.5-WS195 level.

On the other side of the Atlantic, 70,000mt Caribbean/US Gulf gained over 10 points, rising to the WS200-202.5 region.

Additionally, the 70,000mt US Gulf/Trieste had 25 points added, ending the week at WS192.5-195 level.


The market for both 75,000mt and 55,000mt, from the Middle East Gulf to Japan was steady again.

Having been hovering in the low to mid WS150s, whilst 35,000mt to East Africa gained about 20 points to WS212.5-215 level.

In the cross-Mediterranean, trade rates shifted upwards to mid-WS270s, an improvement of about 40 points. On the Continent, rates for 37,000mt to US Atlantic Coast regained the previous week's lost 20+ points to settle around WS180-182.5 level.

The return journey of 38,000mt from US Gulf gained about 10 points to WS125.



Panamax Grain Route P7 commencing Live Reporting Panamax route P7 has been on Public Trial since 23 July 2018. We are pleased to advise the Baltic Index Council has approved commencing Live reporting, from Thursday 2 January 2020.

The route and ID is listed below.

P7 - Mississippi River to Qingdao (min 13m arr draft). 66,000mt HSS, 10% more or less in owner's option, free in and out, trimmed. 10,000mt Saturdays, Sundays + holidays excluded loading, 8,000mt Saturdays, Sundays + holidays excluded discharge. 24 hrs turn time at loading port, 24 hrs turn time at discharge port. Loading 10/20 days from index date. Age max 15 years. 5% total commission. [Routing is via Cape of Good Hope]

Panamax Reminder

Following the Baltic Circulars 28/19 & 38/19, from 1 January 2020 the benchmark Panamax vessel will be the 82,500 dwt and 5 T/C routes.

The Baltic will continue to publish the following until further notice:

Indices: 74K 4TC, P1A, P2A, P3A

Forward Curves: 74K 4TC, P1A, P2A, P3A

Handysize Reminder

Following the Baltic Circular 39/19, from 1 January 2020 the benchmark Handysize vessel will be the 38,000 dwt and 7 T/C routes.

The Baltic will continue to publish the following until further notice:

Indices: 28K 6TC

Forward Curves: 28K 6TC

Any feedback, comments or questions to

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