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Baltic Exchange Shipping Insights

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




In the Middle East Gulf, healthy enquiry combined with weather delays saw rates firm, with WS 97/100 paid for 270,000mt to China.

Going west, 280,000mt to US Gulf was fixed at WS 42 Cape/Cape, up almost 10 points from a week ago.

West Africa to China basis 260,000mt firmed around 14.5 points to WS 97, benefitting from the strong market in the Middle East Gulf. Vitol paid $7.5 million from the US Gulf to Singapore.


West Africa/UKC gained five points to WS 112.5 for 130,000mt underpinned by firming markets elsewhere.

Black Sea/Mediterranean fixed at WS 130 for 135,000mt up from WS 107.5 the previous week and South Korea discharge gained $400,000 to $4.5 million.


Rates for 80,000mt in the Mediterranean initially eased 15 points to WS 165, but bad weather lead to uncertain itineraries and rates recovered to WS 180 for both Mediterranean and Black Sea loadings.

Baltic rates for 100,000mt eased 10 points to WS 110, while 80,000mt cross North Sea dipped down to WS 132.5-135, although Sullom Voe load earlier went at WS 150.

In the Caribbean, a slower week saw rates ease 20 points to WS 240 for 70,000mt from Venezuela to the US Gulf.


In the 75,000mt Middle East Gulf to Japan trade, rates firmed 12.5 points to WS 120 and the market for 55,000mt at around WS 130 region.

Healthy tonnage availability saw levels in the 37,000mt Cont/USAC trade ease 2.5 points to WS 112.5 while the 38,000mt backhaul trade from the US Gulf gained 10 points to WS 142.5/145.



A largely disappointing week for those still hoping for a firmer end to the year, but at least by the close of the week rates appeared to have steadied.

The rate for West Australia/Qingdao dropped to the mid $8.00s fresh enquiry today checked the fall with rates around $8.60 for the miners and a touch more for operators.

There was a rumour of $8.90 down for 25 November onwards from full West Australia load options to Qingdao.

Timecharter rates closed out at reasonable numbers with a 2007 177,000 tonner fixed from Fancheng for a West Australian round at $22,500 daily.

Heading towards the Atlantic, Saldanha/Qingdao was concluded at $17.00, but so far Brazil/China rates still stayed below $22.00.

Further north, there was continued debate regarding where to put the transatlantic rate, but again, visibility was limited.

Jera booked tonnage form Bolivar to Rotterdam with some suggesting the rate was in the low $10.00s, but there was talk of easier numbers on voyage, with some suggesting on this basis the transatlantic route was something in the $17,000s.

Fronthaul rates slipped, but were still near the mid $30,000s. A well-described 179,000dwt 2015 built open Rotterdam fixed a trip via Port Cartier to Japan at $37,500 daily with MOL.

Period fixing remained scarce, although a 181,000dwt 2009 built, prompt China, allegedly failed at $20,500 for about a year.


On the whole it was an active week with a good level of volume concluded in all areas, although it did slow towards the weekend.

The Pacific started the week looking weak in the North/strong in the South, but finished with sentiment the opposite way round.

More NoPac enquiry throughout the week culminated in a well described Kamsarmax fixed basis delivery north China at $14,750, for a round, whilst a lack of Indonesian business for vessels in the South was off-set by increased South American enquiry.

Despite a consistent amount of business in the Atlantic, the oversupply of tonnage in the North Atlantic put paid to any potential improvement, although some pointed to a tightening in the Mediterranean.

The South was very active again, with early November ballasters still able to fix prompt stems, but it was the end November position that saw the most attention, with a slight improvement to around $16,500 plus $650,000 ballast bonus for Kamsarmaxes.


The BSI lost ground this week, with rates dropping in many areas, especially from the Asian basin.

Limited activity was reported on the period front, but a 58,000dwt was rumoured fixed in the mid $11,000s for short period in the East.

The Atlantic slowed, and from east coast South America an Ultramax was fixed at $15,000 plus $500,000 for a fronthaul.

In the US Gulf Ultramaxes were being covered in the mid $20,000s for trips to the Far East brokers said.

East Mediterranean reporting was slow, but a 61,000dwt was linked to a trip to Chittagong at around $24,000.

Enquiry from South East Asia was limited, but a 55,000dwt fixed delivery Singapore, via Indonesia, redelivery Vietnam at $9,800.

Further north, for NoPac rounds a 56,000dwt went in the mid $11,000s plus $300,000 ballast bonus delivery on the coast.

There was still reasonable demand from the Indian Ocean and a 57,000dwt finalised basis Mumbai, with limestone to Bangladesh in the mid $15,000s.


A week of continuous falls in both the Atlantic and Asia markets, with a just small ray of hope visible in the major trading areas.

Brokers noticed some off-market business was traded, but few details came to light.

From east coast South America, a 34,000dwt was booked for a trip to the Baltic at $18,000 and another sugar cargo paid $18,150 on a 33,000 tonner to Casablanca.

A 39,000 vessel was fixed at $20,000 from the US Gulf to move petcoke to Ireland.

In the period trade, earlier in the week in the East there was talk of a 46,000dwt fixing from CJK for four to six months at $10,750.


China trade tariffs drove an early start to the ocean transpacific peak season, but with the latest tranche of China trade tariffs increasing to 25% on 1 January, demand remains high.

Sailings are heavily booked until late November.

Carriers are cashing in with 1 November General Rate Increases (GRIs) in the $100+ range.

Transpacific rates this week stayed steady, but a $100-$200 1 November GRI is expected to carry through this week.

Last week, another influence on 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 to get hit by the 1 January trade tariff increase, will soon find it much easier to compete with direct selling from offshore ecommerce marketplaces.

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

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