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Baltic Exchange Shipping Insights

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

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TANKER REPORT

VLCC

Rates for 270,000mt, from the Middle East Gulf to both China and Singapore, were marginally firmer at WS 56.5/57.5, and a US Gulf-bound cargo to the US Gulf done at WS 20 Cape/Cape, but now assessed at WS 21.5.

West Africa to China gained two points to WS 57, basis 260,00mt, US Gulf to South Korea went at $5.0 million and $5.2 million. Occidental fixed to Singapore at $4.0 million.

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Market voices on:

Bahri covered 280,000mt from Sidi Kerir to Rotterdam at WS68.5, while Hound Point to China went at $4.6 million.

Suezmax

West Africa/UK-Continent finished the week WS 72.5, up 2.5 points for 130,000mt.

Black Sea nudged WS 90 with many cargoes requiring east options, with Singapore booked at $2.65 million and China at $3.15 million.

Shell fixed Algeria/Fos at WS 87.5, and Sidi Kerir/Ningbo went at $2.75 million.

Aframax

Mediterranean rates settled at WS 100 for 80,000mt from Ceyhan and the Black Sea.

Baltic rates rose five points to WS 80 for 100,000mt and 80,000mt cross North Sea stood at WS 106.25/107.5.

The Caribbean Aframax market was steady in low WS 150s for 70,000mt Venezuela to US Gulf.

Panamax

The 55,000mt ARA to US Gulf market was unchanged at WS 120/122.5.

Clean

Rates for 75,000mt Middle East Gulf/Japan climbed 2.5 points to WS 100 and healthy activity 55,000mt resulted in a 7.5 points rise to WS 115.

The 37,000mt Continent/USAC trade dropped 20 points to WS 100 after the cargo supply dried up, leaving an over-tonnaged market. The 38,000mt backhaul eased 2.5 points to WS 100.


DRY BULK REPORT

Capesize

A mixed week for the big ships with unfulfilled expectations. Rates on the West Australia/China route failed to hold and dropped to $7.20 for 7-9 October, with timecharter rates shy of the mid $15,000s, and this despite all the miners in the market.

South Africa saw some fresh business in both ore and coal with the rate for Saldanha/China in the mid $15.00s.

Brazil showed early promise with Vale and CSN reportedly taking ships early on, but with many ballasters enroute rates barely moved above $20.00.

In the North Atlantic, rates held for fronthaul runs with eco ships fixed just shy of $40,000 daily for trips via the St. Lawrence or US East Coast to the East, and some improved numbers talked for transatlantic runs.

Some positivity, but the market was described as 'having a lie down', and hoping for recovery after the China and Japan holiday on Monday. With an erratic FFA market, period fixing was limited.

Panamax

A positive end after a slow start last week. South America remained the main driver in the Atlantic, with healthy volumes for October seeing modern Kamsarmaxes fixing at $17,000 plus $700,000 ballast bonus.

But many now fixing basis, delivery DOP India, in excess of $15,000 daily rather than having to agree to APS rates.

The North Atlantic was over-tonnaged at the beginning of the week with rates coming under pressure, but positive sentiment combined with a little more enquiry also saw rates rise.

In the Pacific, the South was very firm with continuing weather disruption plus the option of east coast South America giving owners several choices.

Indian coal stems were plentiful and paid a premium over the round voyage rates with Kamsarmaxes fixing between $15,000 and $16,000 depending on delivery positions. Whilst the North Pacific saw less enquiry, demand in the South also buoyed rates, underpinned by an end of the week flurry of enquiry prior to the holidays in the East.

The period market was subdued.

Supramax

A better week for the BSI index. Ultramaxes were seeing close to $14,000 for a year in the Asian Basin in limited trading.

Momentum remained in the Atlantic Basin with a tight supply of prompt tonnage from east coast South America and increased October requirements coming into play.

A 55,000dwt was rumoured fixed delivery La Coruna trip via Barcarena, redelivery Mediterranean in the low $10,000s.

As the week closed, the US Gulf remained positional with a well described 61,000dwt fixed delivery US Gulf for a fronthaul in the mid $26,000s.

Stronger levels from the Mediterranean where vessels were seeing in the low $20,000s for trips east.

Increased demand in SE Asia led to improved numbers with 55,000dwt open Singapore fixing in the mid to upper $14,000s for a trip via Indonesia, redelivery China, but still limited NoPac cargoes.

Handysize

East coast South America gained star billing for the smaller ships with the biggest rises seen in the market.

Rates moved sharply higher from mid-week, with two sister ships of 39,000dwt both fixed to the Mediterranean at $17,500 and later $19,750.

A 34,000dwt was booked from Porto Alegre to Algeria at $16,000, with end September dates.

Rates remained flat in the Continent-Baltic and Mediterranean-Black Sea area with a period fixture reportedly done at $10,500 on a 32,000dwt delivery Iskenderun and redelivery in the Atlantic.

From the US Gulf, similar to the Supramax-Ultramax pool, there was limited supply, and the route to Skaw-Cape Passero has been over $10,000 all week but few fixtures came to light.

In the East activity was less visible but the firm rates helped to push the BHSI higher. A 29,000dwt was reportedly fixed in the mid $9,000s for Far East delivery to SE Asia.

A 32,000dwt open Thailand was fixed for a trip to Indonesia at a rate close to $9,000.


FREIGHTOS BALTIC CONTAINER REPORT

The heady days of steep transpacific ocean freight price rises are over. Prices dropped slightly this week as the 1 September General Rate Increases' (GRIs) impact wore off.

Transpacific prices are likely to plateau or drop slightly through the rest of the month. The 15 September GRI was cancelled, and forwarder prices on the Freightos Marketplace prices were extended rather than raised.

Without a push from transpacific price rises, the global container index actually dipped last week, as a result of price dips on the China-North Europe (-11%) and the China-Mediterranean (-7%) lanes For the first time in seven weeks, transpacific prices dropped slightly this week (China-West Coast by $56 and China-East Coast by $10).

That contrasts dramatically with their trajectory over the past three months.

During this period, China-West Coast prices increased by 90% and China-East Coast prices by 54%.

September is normally a good month for carriers to implement price rises, given the squeeze of importers getting Thanksgiving stock out before the Golden Week shutdown.

This year, there is added anxiety, as importers wonder whether a third round of tariffs on Chinese imports will be announced.

Despite very tight space for China-US shipments, (with a 3-4 week backlog and some shipments being rolled and even double-rolled), carriers are clearly cautious with their demand forecasts once shipping returns to normal after Golden Week.


NOTICES

Forward curves: The Baltic Exchange is now publishing TD9 Monthly WS and $/mt curves. Weekly curves for routes TD9 and TD19 are also now available at www.balticeexchange.com.


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.