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Baltic Exchange Shipping Insights

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




Rates eased in the Middle East Gulf as charterers focused on 'disadvantaged tonnage' with South Korea and China fixed at WS 77.5 and WS 80, but recovered as GSC took DHT tonnage at WS 85 for 270,000mt cargo to South Korea.

Westbound rates for 280,000mt to the US Gulf still hovered around WS 32/33 Cape/Cape. West Africa to China fixed at WS 77/78 basis 260,000mt, before firming to WS 82.5.

US Gulf to China paid $8 million and Hound Point to South Korea fixed at $6.8 million.


West Africa gained 7.5 points to WS 107.5 for 130,000mt to UKCont with firming markets in most areas.

Black Sea was steady at WS 107.5 for 135,000mt to Mediterranean with South Korea covered at $4.0/4.1million.


Mediterranean rates jumped, with Hamra/Mediterranean fixed at WS 182.5 up 60 points from the previous week.

Black Sea went at WS 180, up from WS 162.5. Baltic rates for 100,000mt gained five points to WS 120, basis no short options, and 80,000mt cross North Sea paid between WS 145/150, up 15 points, after peaking at WS 155.

North Sea open tonnage fixed from the Caribbean, where rates gained a further 50 points to WS 260 for 70,000mt from Venezuela to the US Gulf.


In the 75,000mt Middle East Gulf to Japan trade, Shell paid five points more at WS 105, while 55,000mt cargoes were a touch easier in mid/high WS 120s.

Healthy tonnage availability saw levels in the 37,000mt Cont/USAC trade ease 10 points to WS 115, while the 38,000mt backhaul trade from the US Gulf was steady at around WS 135.



A market of two halves for most of the week with rates in the Atlantic firming and easing in the East for most of the week, but then, West Australia/China staged a recovery, with a rumour $9.00 was done as well as $8.90, up from $8.40, fixed 24 hours earlier.

Timecharter rates appeared to be moving, with a 2011 175,000dwt fixing from Richards Bay to South Korea at $20,000 plus almost a one million dollar ballast bonus.

Brazil/China trading has been spasmodic, but at least many of the early ballasters have been absorbed with the Tubarao rate for second half November nearer to the mid $21.00s, with $22 and $23 paid for 1-10 December.

Rates also firmed from Brazil to the Continent with trading more active with a Tubarao/Rotterdam fixed near $10.00 and this route attracting Atlantic tonnage.

From Colombia, there was talk that the rate was moving above $10.50.

Front haul rates for ships open in the North hovered around the $34,000 to $36,000 daily for the run East.


It was a week of falling rates in all areas. The Atlantic saw owners with early November ships in the North discounting to fix quick round voyages, with rates paying in the mid-to-high teens for Baltic rounds.

South American trade has also slowed with first half November tonnage discounting last done to fix and more failing evident.

A 2006-built Kamsarmax failed at $16,300 and $630,000 for 5-7 November for a trip to South-East Asia.

A long list of tonnage combined with a slowdown in cargoes from Australia, Indonesia and the NoPac, saw rates slide.

Rates for Kamsarmaxes fixing NoPac rounds were barely in the mid $12,000s, while a 6-year-old 75,000dwt agreed $10,000 daily for a trip from Yuhuan via East Coast Australia to China.

Period trading was in short supply, but a well described 82,000dwt failed on charter-party details at $15,500 for a year, with South China delivery early November.


It was a lacklustre week with rates failing in a number of areas. The Continent saw vessels ballast away due to a lack of cargo.

A 56,000dwt open Rotterdam went at $12,000 for sulphur via the Baltic to Morocco.

The Mediterranean maintained some reasonable rates, but largely for October, cancelling vessels, with a 63,000dwt fixed at $25,500 basis delivery Canakkale to South-East Asia.

The US Gulf traded sideways, brokers advised.

Elsewhere, there was a split in demand from South America, with October vessels from the northern region seeing better demand than further south.

A 63,000dwt fixed delivery Barcarena trip to the Mediterranean in the mid $21,000s.

The Asian area saw falling rates, with a 61,000dwt fixing delivery Kohsichang trip via Indonesia, redelivery India, at $10,500.

Further north a 63,000dwt fixed at $12,000 basis delivery Tianjin via Vancouver back to Indonesia. Period activity remained, but less than last done.


It was a slow week in general. The US Gulf market improved, but it was flat in the Pacific, with some owners preferring to wait for the next moves before making a commitment.

There was talk of tight tonnage availability, with October dates in East Coast South America, but as yet, the market direction for November was unclear.

However, more short period fixtures were reported this week, with a 33,000-dwt booked from Nemrut for a 10 to 12 month period at a strong $12,000.

A similar-sized open Cotonou early November fixed at $10,500 for three to five months, while a 35,000dwt went for three to five months at $14,000 basis delivery Recalada, all worldwide redelivery.

A 37,000dwt open Cabedelo fixed at $16,500 for a trip to Algeria.

In the East, a 28,000dwt fixed from Singapore at $8,000 to move sugar from East Australia to Japan.

A 33,000dwt open Thailand and a 28,000dwt open Vietnam both went to move sugar from Thailand to Indonesia at mid-to-high $8,000s.


China-Europe prices continue to stabilise after crashing through September when several large carriers cut their FAK rates.

Prices had dropped by $715 over four weeks, from $2,201 on 9 September to $1,486 on 7 October.

Prices on both the China-North Europe and China-Mediterranean lanes are currently less than 70% of their 2018 peaks.

Last week, a new influence on the transpacific ocean and air freight prices crystallized when President Trump instructed the US Postal Service to levy higher fees on overseas packages.

Many of the same importers getting hit by the January 1 trade tariff increase will soon be more competitive with direct sales from offshore e-commerce marketplaces.

The biggest influence on transpacific ocean freight prices last week though, was the mid-month GRI (for China-West Coast only) which increased prices by 7%.

Further GRIs has been announced for November 1 and 15.

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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