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Baltic Exchange Shipping Insights

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




Healthy activity combined with delays in the East saw rates climb 21 points in the Middle East Gulf to WS 80 for 270,000mt to China and Singapore and 280,000mt to the US Gulf was fixed five points higher to WS 32.5.

West Africa to China moved in line with the Middle East Gulf with the market at WS 80 basis 260,000mt.

Jose to Vadinar went at $5.2 million and East coast Mexico/South Korea went at $6.6 million. Skaw/Ningbo paid $5.1 million and subsequently $5.3 million. Sentiment in all areas remained bullish.


West Africa gained 11 points to almost WS 90 for 130,000mt to UK Continent.

Black Sea added five points to WS 105/106.25 region for 135,000mt to the Mediterranean with South Korea/Ningbo covered at $3.6 million. Ceyhan to Taiwan went at $3.4 million.


A steady week in the Mediterranean saw WS 107.5/110 paid for cross Mediterranean, with Black Sea at WS 115 basis 80,000mt.

Baltic rates initially dipped to WS 80 before recovering to WS 87.5 for 100,000mt.

The 80,000mt cross North Sea fell to WS 100 before firming to WS 105 region.

The Aframax market in the Caribbean eased five points to WS 135 for 70,000mt from Venezuela to the US Gulf.


The ARA to US Gulf market was steady at WS 112.5/115 for 55,000mt.


In the 75,000mt Middle East Gulf to Japan trade, rates held at WS 102.5, with rates for 55,000mt still at WS 120.

After initially weakening to WS 115, rates in the 37,000mt Continent/USAC trade recovered strongly to WS 150.

The 38,000mt backhaul eased 25 points to WS 75.



It was a surprising start to the week, with rates moving in some key areas despite a week of Asian holidays, although some moves were attributed to draft issues and rising bunker values.

On the West Australia/China run rates for Dampier cargoes dropped under $8.00 the week before, jumping to $8.50 by Monday and near the mid $9.00s mid-week, although drafts played a part.

The bubble was brief, with rates finishing the week near the mid $8.00s.

Timecharter rates saw a brief hiatus, with well-described ships fixed near the mid $20,000s daily for Australian rounds.

Brazil trading mainly remained uneventful despite largely unfounded rumours of Vale fixing from four to a dozen ships for Tubarao/Qingdao runs and rates still struggling to hold around $21.00.

Activity in the North Atlantic again was patchy, although an eco 180,000dwt delivery Gibraltar spot, apparently for a week, fixed a US East coast round at $19,000, with Gibraltar redelivery.

Transatlantic trades were scarce and voyage business fixed showed low returns when calculated on timecharter basis.


Last week defied expectation, with a long holiday in China many expected a slow week with little excitement. Monday was slow with others also away, but as the week progressed, both activity and rates increased.

South America continued to soak up the ballasters and ships open India and South-East Asia on the forward positions.

A modern Kamsarmax fixed at $16,800 from Surabaya, whilst the North Atlantic saw continued robust enquiry with a well-described Imabari Kamsarmax fixed from the Continent at $17,000 for a round voyage.

The Pacific was underpinned by consistent volume from Australia and Indonesia into India and a lack of the larger Post Panamax units.

This resulted in a large Oshima Kamsarmax being fixed at $18,000 basis Taiwan.

Charterers had been forced to take tonnage from more northerly positions, and this also increased the period interest aided by earlier firmer Cape rates and improved FFA prices.


Despite widespread holidays mainly affecting the Asian market, generally rates remained firm.

Period activity was steady with a 61,400dwt fixing in the mid $15,000s for four to six months trading delivery Indian Ocean.

The Atlantic saw increased demand from key areas, such as East coast South America where rates for Ultramaxes were trading at around $20,000 for trans-Atlantic trips.

The East Mediterranean also remained firm for fronthaul, with rates hovering again in the low $20,000s, depending on the vessels specifications, basis delivery Canakkale.

The US Gulf remained positional, brokers said. Demand was seen for Indonesian coal business with a 52,000dwt open Cigading booked at $12,000 for a trip to Bangladesh. Brokers said that the North Asian sector was slow with limited fresh enquiry.

There was stronger activity from the Indian Ocean, with a 61,300dwt fixing delivery South Africa, redelivery Arabian Gulf-West coast India, in the mid $13,000s plus mid $300,000s ballast bonus.


Continuing the positive trend from September, the BHSI climbed throughout the week despite the holidays in Asia and Germany.

The US Gulf market remained firm, with trans-Atlantic trips from the Gulf fixed largely on the bigger-sized handy vessels, and the gap between the 38,000dwt and 28,000dwt index vessels widened.

From the US East coast, a 27,000dwt was booked to move woodpellets to Italy at $11,000 and a 28,000dwt did a similar run with grain at $12,000 mid-week. A 37,000dwt open Barranquilla fixed for a trip to Norway at $12,750.

A 38,000dwt went from East coast South America to the Mediterranean at around $15,000.

A 34,000dwt open Dakar was booked for a run via Takoradi to Riga at $12,000.

From the Black Sea, a couple of fixtures were reportedly done around $14,000, with redelivery Continent or the Mediterranean.

Little activity came to light from the Pacific this week.

There was talk of a 28,000dwt delivery Persian Gulf fixed on subjects for a trip to the Far East but no further details confirmed.


"As the China-US tariff war ratcheted up, many US importers stocked up in advance of the high-turnover Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. That meant several months of successful General Rate Increases (GRIs). In effect, peak season came early. But, in the pre-Golden Week bottleneck - traditionally a favorable time for GRIs to stick - the September 15 and the October 1 GRIs were both canceled. It looks like peak season is ending early too." said Zvi Schreiber, CEO of Freightos.

Many US importers have stocked up in advance to beat new trade tariffs and get stock out before China's Golden Week shutdown.

With carriers unsure how much demand will pick up after Golden Week, the past two GRIs have been canceled.

China-West Coast prices stayed flat (China-West Coast dropping $18 and China-East Coast rising $26).

As uncertain as transpacific rates may be, they are still 56% and 67% up on this time last year for China-West Coast and China-East Coast, respectively.

The imposition of blank sailings and FAK rate decreases by CMA CGM and Maersk have seen China-Europe prices drop from September 9's $2,200 peak to $1,685 last week, and have stabilized somewhat at $1,776.

The Freightos Baltic Indices reflect weekly spot rates for 40-foot containers based on 12 to 18 million price points collected every week on 12 main shipping trade lanes.

The data includes a headline index - the FBX Global Container Index (FBX) - a weighted average of the 12 underlying route indexes. This data is published every Sunday. See

​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.

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