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Baltic Exchange Shipping Insights

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




A positive end to last week after a somewhat uncertain start as some gains made were eroded.

Rates recovered later for West Australia/China, nudging the high $8.00s with rumours of $9.00 for prompt positions.

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In addition, there was finally action from Brazil, with a few cargoes fixed for China as the week closed out with some early ships covered in the mid-high $16.00s and $17.25 paid for early January.

Brokers said there were fewer ships in ballast. Atlantic trading also perked up, with fresh business increasingly evident and rates beginning to move, with the odd weaker rate appearing.

On the key Puerto Bolivar/Rotterdam run there were reports that charterers were now bidding in the low-mid $9.00s, but so far unfixed.

A Narvik/El Dekheila cargo allegedly went at $7.90 and was said to show a timecharter equivalent of over $20,000.

Much of the fronthaul fixed was largely breaching business from St. Lawrence, and on voyage, but rates were assessed around $30,000 daily.


A very flat week for the indices with rates mostly hovering at the same levels, however, news of fresh concluded sales into China boosted sentiment greatly, with much more period activity evident as a result.

A Panamax open South China early January covered for a year at $12,000.

Multiple short period trades were also reported.

The Pacific continued to be propped up by impressive Indonesian volume.

The news of thirty cargoes sold from the NoPac to China, was coupled with improving rates in the North, with Kamsarmaxes fixing at $11,000 or more for round voyages again.

South American trades for December slowed, as most stems have been covered now.

However, rates remained steady, to slightly better, at around $15,750 plus $575,000 ballast bonus for Kamsarmaxes.

In the North, period interest helped increase demand and spot rates saw a slight improvement at the end of the week.


It was a more positive week than of late for the Baltic Supramax Index (BSI).

The Index showed some strong gains, with China buying US soybeans helping to support the market.

Period activity remained across both basins.

A 66,000dwt open Indian Ocean fixing at around $14,000 for four to six months trading.

As the week came to a close a more positive sentiment appeared across some areas; The US Gulf showing improved activity.

Brokers suggested this was due to increased enquiry from East Coast South America.

A 60,000dwt was rumoured fixed from the Gulf for a trip to the Continent in the upper $17,000s.

The Asian market made gains, with better flows for NoPac and Australian cargoes.

A 63,000 tonner fixed delivery Surabaya trip, via West Australia, redelivery China at $13,500.

There was stronger demand from SouthEast Asia, with more coal being shipped.

A 63,000dwt vessel was booked delivery Gresik trip, via Indonesia, redelivery CJK in the low $14,000s.


The overall Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI) recorded a similar level as it achieved in December 2017.

Rates from East Coast South America improved, but negative sentiment from the US Gulf market became more evident last week with limited cargoes.

The Pacific market was again less active as Christmas approached. On the period front, a 37,000dwt vessel open North Coast South America went for four to six months at $12,000, with redelivery within the Atlantic.

A 32,000dwt open Canakkale fixed for a trip to the Spanish Mediterranean at $13,750, while another 34,000dwt open Otranto did a similar run at $12,500.

A 37,000dwt was booked for woodpellets from US East Coast to the Continent at $14,000 in mid-week, and later, a 38,000 tonner went for a similar trip in the mid $12,000s.

A 32,000dwt open Singapore went for a trip via Indonesia to Thailand early last week in the East. A 38,000dwt in Vietnam fixed via Indonesia to China at the same rate.



Middle East Gulf rates shed 11 points to WS 85/86 for 270,000mt to China, with South Korea fixed at WS 84.

Going west, 280,000mt to the US Gulf went at WS 38, but is now assessed at WS 36.5/37 Cape/Cape, down six points from a week ago.

West Africa to China basis 260,000mt lost eight points to WS 84.5.

Hound Point to South Korea went at $7.4 million, while East Coast Mexico to West Coast India fixed at $7.1 million.


West Africa came under renewed downward pressure with rates dropping 17.5 points to WS 97.5/100 for 130,000mt to UK-Cont. Black Sea/Mediterranean rates fell 25 points to WS 130 for 135,000mt, with South Korea down $400,000 at $4.2 million.


The Mediterranean market gained 20 points, as BP fixed 80,000mt from Ceyhan to Fos at WS 205.

UML subsequently agreed WS 212.5. Black Sea rates added 12.5 points to WS 215.

Baltic rates for 100,000mt initially climbed 7.5 points to WS 152.5, before Total took Delta tonnage at WS 165.

Cross North Sea 80,000mt rates continued to firm, with a short Sture/Slagen run fixed at WS 190.

The market is now assessed at WS 195/200.

There was a sharp rise in the Caribbean, with rates gaining 75 points reaching WS 210 for 70,000mt from Venezuela to the US Gulf.


Rates for 75,000mt Middle East Gulf/Japan eased 7.5 points to WS 177.5, with 55,000mt paying low-mid WS 170s, down from WS 180 the previous week.

It was another busy week on MRs, with WS 215 paid for 37,000mt, Continent/USAC, before Exxon fixed from Port Jerome at WS 207.5.

The 38,000mt backhaul trade from the US Gulf eased five points to WS 200.

This report is produced by the Baltic Exchange.

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