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Baltic Exchange Shipping Insights

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




The Capesize market over the past week looked to have found a floor on Tuesday with the BCI 5TC at $3,460 before firming into the rest of the week, ending at $4,881.

Iron ore cargo trades from West Australia to China dominated early week business, while the Atlantic basin became active mid-week. A slim but constant trickle of business was heard out of Brazil heading to China, but details were hard to confirm.

Thursday saw a flurry of North Atlantic fronthaul tenders by Korean and Japanese charterers. The North Atlantic tonnage situation is currently tight, with little activity. These tender fixtures gave an immediate lift to rates, lifting the bid offers in the Atlantic basin.

Ending the week, holidays in the East made for a quiet market, while most eyes were fixed on tracking Cyclone Wallace's arrival in what is hoped to be the last cyclone in the Pilbara region of West Australia for this season.


Overall a relatively flat week, with a healthy volume of fixing. The Pacific has been heavily reliant on Indian coal demand for support. That has favoured the Kamsarmaxes which have been fixing in the mid/high $8,000s from North China via Australia, with the Panamaxes having to discount to compete.

Despite small flurries of activity both Indonesia and the North Pacific were slower last week, which has put rates under some pressure.

South America continued to be the driving force in the Atlantic, with a midweek surge in fixing from the North coast lifting rates for tonnage open around Gibraltar/Jorf Lasfar. This was supported by constant East Coast fixing, mainly, for end April dates.

Tonnage supply appeared to be building in the North Atlantic, as transatlantic demand slowed. There was very little period talk, but a modern Kamsarmax fixed for nine to twelve months delivery Southeast Asia in the low $11,000s.


It was a poor week overall for the Baltic Supramax Index (BSI), which lost ground. Period activity was limited, a 61,000dwt ship open Vietnam for mid-April was fixed one option, one year's trading, at $11,500 and $12,500 respectively.

East Coast South America remained active. A 52,000dwt vessel was fixed basis delivery Recalada for a trip to the Mediterranean at $13,000. From the US Gulf there was limited fresh enquiry, a 61,000-tonner was fixed to Egypt in the $13,000s. The Mediterranean and Continent also lacked impetus.

With mid-week holidays in Indonesia, and in China later in the week, the basin lacked support, with limited fresh inquiry. A 60,000dwt ship was fixed delivery Kosichang trip via West Australia, redelivery China, at $9,000. A 58,000-tonner was covered basis delivery Singapore trip via Indonesia, redelivery South China, in the low $8,000s.

There was limited action from the Indian Ocean, a 63,300-dwt was fixed for South Africa redelivery Southeast Asia in the low $12,000s, plus $200,000 ballast bonus.


The Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI) started to fall when it moved along to April, after having a good March, with all rates staying in the positive territory.

Most of the index routes lost ground last week with key areas like the US Gulf and East Coast South America softening throughout the week.

A 38,000dwt vessel open Denmark was fixed for moving a scrap cargo to the East Mediterranean at $11,850. A 33,000dwt ship was fixed from Santo Tomas de Castilla for a trip with nickel ore to the East Mediterranean. Another 37,000-tonner was booked from Southwest Pass to West Coast South America at $9,000, with end April dates.

Meanwhile, the Pacific market also showed more signs of weakening once it was April. A 34,000dwt ship open CJK was reportedly fixed for a trip to redeliver in Israel at a rate around $4,000, and a 33,000dwt vessel, open Ulsan, was booked for a cement trip to Singapore at $7,750.



Charterers maintained their vice-like grip on owners, with rates for 270,000mt falling 8.5 points to WS 37.5, while a newbuilding to Korea agreed WS 31.5 basis 280,000mt.

Going west, rates for 280,000mt to the US Gulf are assessed three points lower at around WS 19, Cape/Cape, with an options cargo achieving slightly more.

In West Africa, rates for 260,000mt fell four points with both WS 40 and WS 41 agreed for China discharge. Limited enquiry in the US Gulf saw rates slide further with $4.5 million paid to Korea. Hound Point to Korea went at $4.7 million.


West Africa rates for 130,000mt to Europe fell briefly to WS 50, before improved volumes of enquiry led to firmer sentiment.

Petroineos paid WS 57.5 from Escravos, and there is talk of WS 60 having been done. Black Sea/Mediterranean rates for 135,000mt held at WS 65/67 level, but with potential to firm.


In the Mediterranean, rates for 80,000mt from Ceyhan are now seen at WS 85, although lower was done. In Primorsk - with ice restrictions - the market for 100,000mt peaked at WS 75, before easing to WS 65 for straight UKContinent discharge.

The 80,000mt cross-North Sea market is hovering between WS 87.5/90 level. Healthy tonnage availability saw the 70,000mt Caribs up coast market ease 12.5 points to WS 77.5.


Rates for 75,000mt Middle East Gulf/Japan eased five points to WS 97.5, while the 55,000mt trade fell 12.5 points to WS 100. The market for 37,000mt Continent/USAC lost 25 points to WS 145. The 38,000mt trade from the US Gulf to UKContinent was steady in the high WS 90s.

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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