You are here

Baltic Exchange Shipping Insights

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




Charterers were in no rush to fix this week and with healthy availability of tonnage, rates eased three points to WS 53 for 270,000mt to China, with Korea fixed at WS 50.

Shell fixed 280,000mt at WS 18.5 Suez/Suez for Basrah to the US Gulf.

Market voices on:

West Africa eased 2.5 points, in line with the Middle East Gulf, to sit at WS 53 for 260,000mt to China. IOC fixed EC Mexico to Paradip at $4.1 million.


Healthy enquiry in West Africa saw rates firm 2.5 points to WS 72.5, with Portugal discharge subsequently covered at WS 77.5, while 135,000mt from Black Sea to Mediterranean was steady at WS 85.

UML took Minerva tonnage for 135,000mt from Ceyhan to the Mediterranean at WS 85 and Sidi Kerir to Ningbo was fixed by Unipec at $2.725 million.


In the 80,000mt Mediterranean market, rates from Ceyhan eased 7.5 points to WS 117.5, with Black Sea and Algeria load paying WS 115 and Libya around WS 122.5.

However, with a thinner tonnage list, there is potential for rates to firm again.

In the Baltic, rates fell five points to WS 67.5 for 100,000mt, while cross North Sea rates dropped a further 2.5 points to WS 95, basis 80,000mt.

The one positive Aframax market is the Caribbean, where rates for 70,000mt from Venezuela have climbed to WS 167.5.


Healthy enquiry In the 50,000mt Caribbs up coast market saw rates climb to WS 147.5, leading tonnage to stay local rather than ballast across, with the market from ARA gaining around five points to WS 125 for 55,000mt.


Rates remained in the high WS 90's for 75,000mt, Middle East Gulf to Japan, and for 55,000mt size, marginally firmer, at between WS 105/107.5.

The 37,000mt Cont/USAC market saw healthy enquiry leading to a jump of around 17 points to WS 147.5 and the 38,000mt backhaul trade firmed to around WS 86.25 level.



Rates came under pressure for the big ships last week, despite paper values holding at reasonable levels as these trades continued to look for a strong fourth quarter.

The Brazil/China rate was very close to slipping under $20.00, but Vale was at least rumoured to have booked a mini COA for the fourth quarter at near $20.00 basis a $300 bunker price.

Until now there were only a few operators in the market taking tonnage.

Further north this remained famine more than feast, but as the week closed out there were signs of some steadying, with a front haul allegedly booked on a timecharter equivalent for $36,000 daily, or more over 75 days.

In the East rates on the key West Australia/China run came close to $8.00 level, but as the week closed out it seemed to have reached a floor and now levels close to, or above, $8.50 are being mentioned for later September dates.

Timecharter rates for Australian rounds fell below $20,000 daily for standard 180,000dwt fixed for Australian rounds.


After a hesitant start last week, the Atlantic market succumbed to the lengthening tonnage profile, with voyage fixtures becoming prevalent and Owners discounting the shorter trips to buy some more time.

In the South, the market remained steady for end September positions from EC South America, with better described Kamsarmax units achieving close to $17,000 plus $700,000 ballast bonus front haul, however, brokers said October stems appeared thinner and demand was less visible.

The Pacific market had started in the same vein as the Atlantic, however, by the middle of the week increased NoPac activity supported rates, partly due to weather delays.

Despite a lack of mineral enquiry from Australia, the larger Post Panamax tonnage list appeared to be fairly tight leading to Owners asking for higher than last done levels.

There was sporadic period trades including index linked deals with longer period continuing to demand a premium against shorter duration charters.


A lacklustre week on BSI, which overall remained relatively static. There was very little period activity recorded, with a large gap between Owners and Charterers expectations.

The Atlantic had mixed moves, whilst some felt that the East Mediterranean lacked fresh impetus, others said they could see a tightening of tonnage.

A 58,000dwt was covered basis delivery Canakkale for a trip to SE Asia at $20,250.

Limited activity was reported from the US Gulf, with rates trading sideways.

A little more active than of late from EC South America, where a 58,000dwt was linked to a trip to the East Mediterranean, including Lebanon, at around $17,000. The Continent also lacked fresh cargo.

The Asian market made gains, certainly from the South, with a 56,000dwt reportedly fixed basis delivery Djakarta trip via Indonesia, redelivery China, at $14,650.

Also on nickel ore runs better levels were seen, as a 56,800dwt was fixed delivery North China, for a round voyage via the Philippines at $11,500.

Activity was seen from the Indian Ocean, with a 56,000dwt fixed delivery Abu Dhabi trip via the U.A.E, redelivery WC India in the $12,000s.


The BHSI climbed to 565 last Thursday, a number not seen since early July.

Ships trading from EC South America saw a touch more hope and the improvement in the Pacific was visible in the middle of the week, after rates being flat in the past few weeks.

Period activity remained limited with a 37,000dwt reportedly fixed for four to six months at $10,500, open in Malaysia in mid September.

Trade from EC South America for a 37,000dwt paid $19,500 for moving petcoke to the Persian Gulf.

A 28,000dwt open in the Egyptian Mediterranean was fixed at $11,800 for a grain trip via the Black Sea and redelivery in the Gulf.

In the East, a 32,000dwt open Pohang, was fixed in the low $8,000s for a trip to SE Asia.

A 38,000dwt open Tonda was booked for a steel trip via CIS to Taiwan at $9,000.

Another 32,000dwt, open Map Ta Phut, did $8,500 for moving sugar from Thailand to Indonesia.


China-US ocean rates are still rising, and the September 1 GRI's should cause the West Coast and East Coast indexes to jump about 10% next week.

Ocean peak season shipping is in full swing, as evident by China-US shipments operating on a 3-4 week backlog since mid-July.

China-US general air freight rates also rose this week ending months of inertia.

Ocean freight peak season came early with transpacific prices at an 18 month high. This may be a high before a low, as some of the increase in volume has been importers getting orders in before tariffs on Chinese products take effect.

Transpacific prices are higher than at any time since the Freightos Baltic Indexes started in January 2016.

China-West Coast rates are 37% higher (China-East Coast 38% higher) than at the same time last year.

Prices on the other indexes are also up on last year.

With recent GRIs sticking, it's no surprise that, some carriers have announced GRIs for September 15 GRI as well as October 1.

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