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Baltic Exchange Shipping Insights

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

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DRY BULK REPORT

Capesize

The market was relatively stable over this past week putting an end to the past months of more extreme declines.

While the Capesize 5TC still softened marginally, opening the week at $9,438 and closing it at $8,352, market fundamentals appear to have stabilised with a dismal floor for owners in the Pacific and a tight tonnage situation in the Atlantic commanding a premium. In the Pacific, the C5 closed out the week at $6.832 with the Pacific round C10 trading at $3,871.

While bunkers gave a bit of reprieve earlier in the week helping owners, voyage rates declined in the Pacific, putting earnings at firmly sub OPEX levels for standard vessels. Fixing activity has been mild throughout the week with Friday being very quiet. The Atlantic basin's C8 closed out the week at $14,440, dropping -$1,035.

With Chinese New Year officially starting next week on Jan 24, most traders will be preparing for an impending quiet market. Whether this results in a ramp up of trading activity in the coming shortened week remains to be seen.

Panamax

A fluctuating week in the Panamax market. After a slow start it showed small green shoots of recovery by mid-week only for activity to appear to slow again come the end of the week.

However, these gains are still some way shy of levels the market witnessed only one month ago.

East coast South America again continued to be the main driver, lending support to the market not only in the Atlantic, but also south east Asian tonnage positions. A rate of $15,000+$500,000 was concluded on an 82,000dwt for East Coast South America to Far East.

The Pacific market saw some improvement with healthier demand in the north with an 82,000dwt able to achieve $7,500 for a North Pacific trip basis a China delivery, further south the Indonesia round trips were more akin to $5,000+$60,000 gross ballast bonus delivery APS delivery port for 82,000dwt.

Supramax/Ultramax

A lacklustre week again with many areas seeing negative movement. Limited period activity surfaced, an Ultramax open north Asia obtaining $10,750 for 4 to 6 months trading; however, there was generally a large gap between owners' and charterers' ideas.

The Atlantic suffered with a plentiful supply of tonnage despite some areas seeing improved enquiry.

A 63,000dwt fixing delivery Continent trip redelivery east Mediterranean at $9,500. A 63,300dwt fixed delivery Turkey for a fronthaul at $16,500. As the week closed, better levels of enquiry were noted, but again tonnage supply remained strong. From south east Asia a 61,400dwt fixed delivery east Kalimantan redelivery west coast India in the low $7,000s.

NoPac business was seen a 58,000dwt fixing delivery on the coast redelivery China at $7,750 plus $250,000 ballast bonus. The Indian Ocean also failed to inspire, a 58,000dwt fixed delivery west coast India redelivery China at $6,000.

Handysize

Overall a slow week with negative sentiment continuing in both basins. Activity from the Atlantic remained limited especially in the US Gulf, Continent and Mediterranean area, whilst east coast South America appeared to be the only exception with rates improving.

The $9,000s level was reported on mid to large-sized Handy vessels delivery in the US Gulf for a trip to east Mexico or to the UK Continent.

A coastal trip from east coast South America paid $12,800 on a 35,000dwt and a similar-sized was fixed from Recalada to South-East Asia at a tick over $17,000.

The Pacific market largely weakened with more rates basis APS loading. A 28,000dwt open in Indonesia was fixed at $6,500 basis Australia delivery for a trip to Japan.


TANKER MARKET REPORT

VLCC

A quieter week in the Middle East, alongside falling bunker prices has left owners unable to maintain rate levels. 280,000mt to USG lost around 10 points to WS50 level, while rates for 270,000mt to China weakened 25% to WS85. In the Atlantic, there was a similar scenario with 260,000mt West Africa/China down 30% to WS75 after a late flurry of activity on Thursday, and 280,000mt USG/China shed $3m to $11.5m.

Suezmax

Rates for 130,000 West Africa/UK-Continent fell 25 points to WS130 on the back of a lengthening position list and limited enquiry. In the meantime, 135,000mt Black Sea/Med activity was also limited and rates softened about 10 points to low-to-mid WS150s. Conversely, rates for 140,000mt Basrah/Med gained about 7.5 points to WS85.

Aframax

80,000mt Ceyhan/Med voyages are worth 15 points less than a week ago at WS145 level, whilst 80,000mt Cross-North Sea lost 10 points to WS135 and 100,000mt Baltic/UKC fell 5 points to WS125. Stateside trade has been mixed with 70,000mt Carib/USG unchanged in the low WS390s yet ballasters from Europe are still affecting the 70,000mt USG/Med route with rates coming off about 10% to mid WS220s.

Clean

It was a very disappointing week from an owner's perspective with the market in the Middle East Gulf/Japan trade for 75,000mt easing 20 points to sit now at WS120. There was little cheer either on the 55,000mt size with rates under pressure and after WS142.5 was agreed there is now talk of ATS fixing at WS130. In the 37,000mt ARA to USAC trade, the market fell around 7.5/10 points to between WS 157.5/160, with WS152.5 fixed on tonnage with last cargo palm oil. The clean cross-Med market fell 35 points with WS205 now agreed. The one bright area was in the 38,000mt backhaul trade from US Gulf to UKC where rates firmed just over 20 points to WS175.


BALTIC ACADEMY, SINGAPORE

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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.