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Baltic Exchange Shipping Insights

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




The Capesize market found little to cheer about this week as it again endured remarkable lows. The Atlantic continued to improve, with the Transatlantic C8 now pricing at $2,655. Cargo remains limited for owners, while a healthy ballaster list is running low on options. The Pacific Transatlantic C10 continues to make modest gains to close the week out at $4,900. The C5 voyage route, West Australia to China, remains under pressure, but managed to lift slightly this week, finishing at $5.986, a rise of +.391. Re-fuelling timing for owners remains critical as bunkers continue to fluctuate wildly.

Fuel demand across all industries has weakened in recent weeks, with the slowdown in China, giving some respite to owners. The Capesize 5TC opened the week at $2,445 to close out the week at $2,787.


A markedly better week, with all routes posting gains. This was led by the P1A Transatlantic round voyage, which gained $1,380 on the week to close at $4,805. The 5TC average duly climbed $1,170 to close at $7,087, an almost 20 per cent gain for the week. Whilst sentiment is much more positive, these things are rarely linear, even when coming from such a low base.

Consequently, opinion remains divided as to whether the momentum can be maintained. The East Coast South America (ECSA) market was also active this week, with delivery Arrival Pilot Station (APS) Brazil, becoming delivery dropping outward pilot station (DOP) India in the latter stages of the week.

Some short period fixtures were also concluded to cover the Brazil fronthaul as a first leg. Notable fixtures included the 'Konkar Venture' (82,099dwt, 2015 built), which fixed basis delivery APS Santos at $13,450 plus $345,000 ballast bonus basis 6/10 March. In addition to the 'Sea Gemini' (81,715dwt, 2014 built), which fixed basis delivery Singapore 3/6 March at $10,200 for a similar Brazil round voyage.

Some short period fixing was reported, including the 'Avicl Artemis' (82,000dwt, 2019 built) at $11,500 for four to seven months basis delivery Machong with redelivery worldwide. This was supposedly to Louis Dreyfus in direct continuation - although this was not confirmed. Moreover, the 'Coronis' (74,381dwt, 2006 built) purportedly fixed $8,000 for about nine to ten months to Koch. The consensus amongst most is that further improvements will be seen next week.


A more positive week, with the Baltic Supramax Index (BSI) making ground. There was a tightening of tonnage supply in many areas in the Atlantic. In the Asian arena rates improved slowly, with more enquiry, but tonnage availability remained abundant. On the period front, activity was more evident.

A 55,000dwt ship, open China, fixing for one year in the high $8,000s. From East Coast South America, a 60,000dwt ship was fixed delivery Recalada trip to Egypt at $11,250. Further north from the US Gulf, a 63,800dwt ship was fixed for a petcoke run via India, redelivery Port Said, in the low $14,000s. The Continent also saw better numbers. A 55,700dwt ship fixing delivery Portugal trip, via the Continent, redelivery East Mediterranean at $11,250. In Asia, stronger numbers for trading.

China, with a 57,000dwt ship fixing delivery South Kalimantan trip, redelivery CJK, at $7,600. The Indian Ocean also saw healthier numbers. A 63,000dwt ship fixing delivery South Africa trip, redelivery Colombo, at $11,000 plus $100,000 ballast bonus.


Like other sizes, the Handysize sector started to show signs of recovery from the early part of the week, with the Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI) making gains for the first time since 2020. There were some stronger rates fixed from the Continent, Mediterranean and especially East Coast South America.

The US Gulf was relatively quiet. In the East there was a slight improvement, with Southeast Asia delivery leading the positive trend. On the period front, brokers noticed more charterers taking in vessels in both basins, with discounted rates applied.

A 35,000dwt ship open in Indonesia in early March was fixed for five to eight months at $5,250 for the first 35 days and $9,000 thereafter. For time charter trips from East Coast South America this week, a 37,000dwt ship open Santos was fixed to Morocco at $10,500. Another large Handysize vessel was fixed from Vila Do Conde for a trip to Norway at $10,000. From the Pacific, a 38,000dwt ship was fixed from Japan to Southeast Asia at $4,000. A 32,000dwt ship open Thailand was fixed to East Coast India at $4,000.



The market in the Middle East was again static, with the uncertainties caused by the ongoing effect of Coronavirus. Rates for 270,000mt to China loitered at WS42.5, while 280,000mt to the US Gulf via the Cape/Cape routing is stuck at WS30. In the Atlantic region rates for 260,000mt West Africa to China languished at WS46 level. In the 270,000mt US Gulf/China market, rates are assessed $100k lower than a week ago at around $6.5m.


With Libya off-line, and a quieter Mediterranean and Black Sea market, Suezmax activity has been reduced. Owners of tonnage in the Atlantic basin are having to consider Mediterranean, Black Sea, West Africa or a longer ballast to the US Gulf. Rates for 130,000mt West Africa to UK-Continent weakened 1.2 points to WS77.5-80 level. In the 135,000mt Black Sea to Mediterranean trade, rates fell three to four points to WS85-87.5. The 140,000mt Basrah to Mediterranean route was again tested, resulting in charterers able to slice 2.5-5 points from last week's level, leaving the rate hovering in the mid WS30s.


Despite a relatively active week, rates have barely shifted. 80,000mt Ceyhan to the Mediterranean is still valued at WS85 and the northern European voyages of 80,000mt Cross-North Sea lost a couple of points to WS132.5-135 level. 100,000mt Baltic to UK-Continent fell back half a dozen points to WS107.5. On the other side of the Atlantic 70,000mt Caribbean to US Gulf rates rose 7.5 points to a fragile-looking WS185. 70,000mt US Gulf to the Mediterranean fell away 23 points to WS142.5-145 region.


After the initial spike, which saw rates jump 20 points to around WS105 at the start of the week, the market in the Middle East Gulf to Japan trade for 75,000mt was steady around this level for the balance of the week.

In the 55,000mt size, the market likewise initially firmed five points and thereafter has been hovering between WS112.5/115 region. In the 37,000mt UK-Continent to US Atlantic Coast trade, rates firmed a week ago to low WS160s.

Subsequently, the market firmed to WS167.5/170 region, before easing back to around mid WS160s. In the 38,000mt backhaul trade from US Gulf to UK-Continent, rates held at around WS87.5.

The 30,000mt clean cross-Mediterranean market was largely unchanged at WS190 level.


TD25 (70,000 mt crude) - Change of load and discharge ports

The Baltic Index Council has approved amending the load and discharge ports from Corpus Christi/Trieste to Houston/Rotterdam. Following market feedback, the intended date of implementation will be 23 March 2020.

Baltic Exchange Members are advised to view the market announcements page on for more information.

This report is produced by the Baltic Exchange.

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