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Baltic Exchange Shipping Insights

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




The Capesize market this past week has been attempting to recalibrate itself in consideration of weakening freight levels and increasing IMO bunker costs.

A week out from Christmas there was a definite holiday feel, with some traders already absent.

Market voices on:

Opening Monday, trade was sparse in both Basins, but by mid-week there was signs the Atlantic had bottomed out and improved sentiment was found. The Pacific continued its rout, with the C10 opening the week at $17,000 to close at around $11,200.

The two Basins are once again diverging with each other, with the Atlantic C8 at $17,300.

Throughout the week the West Australia C5 was volatile, but as the week closed, more activity was rumoured and settled at $7.20. The Brazil to China C3 closed in the upper $18.00's. The C5TC settled at $14,451 on Friday, with two days left to price for the year.


Negative values spread across most areas of the market this week, with the Pacific witnessing the biggest losses. In the Atlantic, cargo demand from the South Atlantic weakened a little, but steady enquiry was seen further north. For transatlantic trips from the US Gulf at start of the week we saw a 75,000dwt ship achieving $13,400 plus $340,000 ballast bonus. By the end of the week, an 81,000dwt ship was fixing $12,500 plus $250,000 ballast bonus, both delivery Arrival Pilot Station (APS) US Gulf, with redelivery Skaw-Gibraltar range. From East Coast South America, highest fixed was $15,000 plus $500,000 ballast bonus on an 81,000dwt ship for a trip to the Far East, with the low a 75,000dwt ship achieving $13,600 plus $360,000 ballast bonus.

In Asia, there was a big sell off in rates as the week progressed. The highlight at the start of the week was an 81,000dwt vessel agreeing $11,000 for an Australian round trip. However, by Friday a 79,000dwt vessel had conceded $6,250 for a trip via Australia to India.


With the long holidays ahead, the market ends on a quiet note, with the Baltic Supramax Index (BSI) having lost ground. Period activity surfaced mid-week, with a 61,000dwt ship, open US East Coast, fixing short period Atlantic trading in the low $13,000's.

The Atlantic softened as owners sort cover over the holiday period. From the US Gulf, 55,000dwt ships saw around $16,000 for transatlantic runs. The South Atlantic closed on a subdued note, although some said there was still demand for trips to the Far East. There was limited information from the Mediterranean, but a 56,000dwt vessel was fixed from Turkey to Spain in the upper $8,000s.

As the week closed, tonnage lists in Asia increased, with a lack of fresh enquiry. A 63,000dwt vessel, open Cigading, fixed a trip via Indonesia, redelivery West Coast India, at $8,500. Further north, a 61,000dwt vessel, ope--n South Korea, was fixed for a North Pacific round, redelivery Southeast Asia, at $8,000.


Activity started slowing down with year-end holidays fast approaching. Overall the indices slipped in both the Atlantic and Pacific, with the Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI) going back to the 500-point level.

Early in the week a 32,000dwt ship open in Singapore was fixed for a trip to South China at high $6,000s. A 39,000dwt vessel open in Southeast Asia was booked for a trip to West Coast North America at $5,000 for the first 55 days and $10,500 for the balance period.

From the Atlantic, a 32,000-tonner was fixed from the Black Sea for a grain trip to Huelva at $8,250. A 31,000dwt vessel open spot in East Mediterranean was fixed for a steel trip to East Coast South America at $8,000. A similar sized vessel was fixed from the Continent to Portugal at $11,000.



Rates for 270,000mt Middle East Gulf to China are up almost 20 points from a week ago to S120/122.5 level. However, there is now some downward pressure and 280,000mt Middle East Gulf (MEG) to US Gulf (USG), Cape to Cape is now about WS65. In the Atlantic a similar scenario was seen, with rates for 260,000mt West Africa to China firming 15 points to WS115/117.5 region. Rates for 270,000mt USG to China have also improved and are now up about $600k to $12.2/12.3m range.


The 130,000mt West Africa to UK-Continent (UKC) market has firmed again, moving up about 12 points to WS152.5.

135,000mt Black Sea to the Mediterranean has had almost 10 points added, levelling out at WS157.5.

The market for 140,000mt Basrah to the Mediterranean has tightened in the short term and is now rated 25+ points up at WS90 level, even though the equivalent of WS100 was reported on subs for a beginning January loading.


The 80,000mt cross North Sea market shrank by 10 points to WS235. 100,000mt Baltic to UKC lost five points to WS197.5/200 region. 80,000mt Ceyhan to Lavera rates gained a handful of points to low WS200s.

On the other side of the Atlantic, rates for 70,000mt Caribbean to USG have been forced up 60 points to WS270 level, while 70,000mt USG to Trieste increased 40+ points to WS245. Rates for 80,000mt Kuwait to Singapore were last assessed at WS200 level, up 30+ points week-on-week. However, there are rumours of much higher being paid at the time of writing.


The market for both 75,000mt and 55,000mt from the Middle East Gulf to Japan made marginal gains of about three points to settle in the high WS150s. Rates for 37,000mt to US Atlantic Coast gained a further 10 points to WS185 level and 38,000mt USG to UKC lost 2.5 points to settle at WS125.

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