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Baltic Exchange Shipping Insights

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




The market has been well supported over the past week, led primarily by the Atlantic Basin. After bottoming last week, sentiment was seen to improve strongly, with both paper and physical traders buying into the rally.

Opening the week at $18,930 on the Capesize 5TC, it has now lifted to $23,865.

Traders had been eyeing up the second half of December, loading windows out of Brazil in recent weeks citing likely tonnage tightness. They weren't disappointed as C3 was seen to open the week at $19.030, to end the week at $22.375.

Furthermore, into the North Atlantic a flurry of fronthaul business, now beginning to incorporate ice zone premiums, have kept the basin under tonnage supply pressure heading into the final month of the year.

The Pacific Basin struggled to counter the improved sentiment and was seen to lift early in the week past mid $9's on C5 with a very healthy flow of fixtures being heard. C5 closed out the week at $9.95 with talk of $10.00 being concluded.


There were significant gains this week, the Atlantic leading the charge, with the Skaw to Gibraltar Transatlantic round-trip route P1A_82, gaining more than $2,500 in value on the week.

Stronger levels were concluded on the Baltic trades, with an 80,000dwt ship achieving $13,500 for a trip Skaw-Gibraltar.

On the longer Transatlantic trips, an 82,000dwt vessel agreed $10,500 delivery.

The East Coast South America (ECSA) grain front haul activity saw healthy volumes of fixing.

With some clearing out the early December shipments towards the beginning of the week the rates began to improve.

An 82,000dwt ship was reported as fixing $13,750 plus $375,000 ballast bonus ECSA to Far East, while a 75,000dwt vessel achieved $12,500 plus $250,000 ballast bonus for same trip.

US Gulf grain shipments gained traction with an 85,000dwt ship fixing $16,000 plus $600,000 ballast bonus for a US Gulf to Far East trip.

Levels improved in the Pacific market too with $11,000 being concluded on an 81,000dwt ship for an Indonesia to China coal trip.

From Australia, at the start of the week, $8,100 was agreed on an 81,000dwt vessel.

However, by the end of the week, this had increased to $10,000 for the same tonnage and same trip via Australia to China.

Period interest also increased on the week with reports of an 82,000dwt vessel achieving $11,400 for five to eight months worldwide trading.


Following on from the previous week, the Baltic Exchange Supramax Index (BSI) remained in positive mode, but both basins remained patchy with some areas recovering whilst others remained flat.

Limited period activity surfaced, but Ultramax size saw in the region of mid $10,000s for the medium period.

Stronger levels were seen in the US Gulf with a 61,400dwt ship fixing at around $17,000 to the east Mediterranean (Med).

East Coast South America had better demand, but rates remained static: a 58,000dwt vessel fixing at $13,000 plus $300,000 ballast bonus for a trip to Bangladesh.

From Asia, activity centred around the south, with a 48,800dwt ship fixing delivery Gresik, Changjiangkou (CJK) at $11,750.

Limited fresh cargo further north, but a 61,000dwt ship fixed delivery CJK trip via Indonesia for redelivery India at $9,150.

The Indian Ocean remained calm, with a 58,000dwt vessel fixing delivery Fujairah for a trip to Bangladesh at $13,000, whilst another 58,000dwt vessel fixed delivery South Africa trip to west coast India at $10,500 plus $150,000 gross ballast bonus.


A positive trend started to show in the Handy sector this week, which was last seen back in the end of September this year.

The Atlantic market saw a ray of hope for ships in key areas after weeks of weak rates.

From East Coast South America, a 38,000dwt ship was fixed for a trip to Southeast Asia at $15,000s level.

Mid-sized Handy vessels were reportedly fixed from Recalada at $16,000 for a trip to West Coast South America, or $14,000 for a trip to east Africa.

A coal trip via the Baltic to the Continent paid $12,000 on a 38,000dwt ship delivery to Belfast.

Rates also climbed in the US Gulf but saw limited activity reported with the Thanksgiving holiday at the end of the week.

In the East, the sentiment began largely flat but restored in the later stage after exchanging ideas. Overall, minimal changes on the Pacific routes but with some signs of gain.



Owners' expectations were firm at the start of the week with the market for 270,000mt Middle East Gulf to China peaking at Worldscale (WS)120.

Rates then came under downward pressure with WS115 and WS117.5 agreed for China discharge, and now we understand levels have slipped further with brokers now seeing market closer to very low WS100S.

Going west, 280,000mt to US Gulf Cape/Cape was fixed at around WS62, though pressure is building on owners.

For 260,000mt from West Africa to China, rates also softened from WS110 a week ago to WS107.5, and with WS101 now reportedly done further compounding the pressure in the Middle East.

A short week in the US saw limited action in US Gulf/China trade and the market here is now assessed around $11.8 million.


It was a steady week in the West Africa/UK-Continent trade with rates for 130,000mt easing around two and a half points before settling at WS120 region.

Black Sea/Med rates for 135,000mt to Europe came under pressure with Chevron taking Delta tonnage at WS137.5, representing a loss of almost seven points from the start of the week.

The 140,000mt Basrah/Med trade was steady in low/mid WS60s.


Crude rates in the north took a hit with 80,000mt cross North Sea sliding 30 plus points to WS160.

The Baltic moved in tandem with 100,000mt now paying high WS120s, down almost ten points from the beginning of this week.

The Mediterranean market saw a flurry of activity, with 80,000mt from Ceyhan to Lavera assessed around eight points higher at WS212.5/213 region, with Black Sea going in low/mid-WS 220s.


The market for 75,000mt from Middle East Gulf to Japan peaked at WS160, though we understand there is talk of very low WS150s having possibly been agreed.

In the 55,000mt trade, rates eased from WS155 to WS150. On the Continent, rates for 37,000mt to US Atlantic Coast (USAC) eased from WS200 early this week to low WS180s and, with Thanksgiving in the US and enquiry subsequently slowing, brokers feel rates could slip further.

The short week saw rates for 38,000mt from US Gulf ease five points to WS115 level.

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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