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Baltic Exchange Shipping Insights

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




A tale of two halves this week as the market tide turned mid-week bringing a raft of higher fixtures to both basins. Pockets of pressure in the market released to the upside from Wednesday onwards.

The Capesize 5TC routes opened the week at $29,624, dropped down to $28,431, before closing the week out at $30,437.

The big play of the week came from Brazil, once again rising over $2 per metric tonne from Wednesday to Friday, to settle at $24.055.

Several transatlantic trades were heard following the mid-week dip as trading activity was slow but steady.

In the Pacific, the usual presence of Rio Tinto was the constant as they traded rates to the low and were again in at the high on Friday. Other miners were infrequent and generally quiet.

C5 opened the week at $10.498, traded down quickly to $9.573, before closing out the week up at $10.577.

Turbulent weather is once again heading towards South East China which should affect upcoming vessel schedules.

Traders will also be casting a wary eye towards the global economies, for which the Capesize market has been seemingly ignoring of late as it gets on with its own business.


The South American grains drove the market this week, with numerous vessels open in Asia fixed for September loading.

Rates varied from $16,000 to $19,000, depending on the delivery point.

The Yasa Neslihan (82,849dwt, 2005 built) vessel, in ballast from India, was fixed on Arrival Pilot Station (APS) basis 15/20 September, at $19,000 plus $900,000.

Rates for Pacific round voyages are hovering around the $16,000 level for the Tess 82 types.

In the Atlantic, Jera fixed the 'Spring Progress' open Agadir 21/23 August for coal loading US East Coast to Jorf Lasfar at $21,500 and for fronthaul there was talk of Uniper taking the 'Clia' (92,968dwt 2012 built), passing Gibraltar, for US East Coast coal to India at around $30,000.


Similar to other sizes, it was one of the most exciting weeks for the Baltic Supramax Index (BSI), with a surge from all areas.

The rates for the US Gulf increased rapidly, with pressure on August cancelling, before settling back down a shade.

Brokers reported tight tonnage lists in both the Continent and East Coast South American markets.

For East Coast South America loading, charterers started taking vessels from South China in addition to the Indian Ocean area.

Meanwhile the vessels open in the Far East had strong support from the North Pacific runs, as well as stems from Australia.

A 50,000-tonner, open Houston, was fixed for moving petcoke to Cristobal at $17,000.

A 53,000dwt ship, open Rotterdam, was booked for fertiliser cargo, via the Baltic to South Brazil, at a rate in the high $12,000s.

Midweek, an Ultramax was fixed from East Coast South America for a trip back to the Far East at close to $18,000, plus a ballast bonus in the high $700,000s.

In the East, a 63,000dwt vessel, open CJK, was fixed to run via East Coast South America for a trip back to Singapore-Japan at $13,500.

North Pacific and Australia round trips paid between $11,000 and $12,000 for North China delivery.

From South Africa, a 63,000dwt ship was fixed to China at $14,500, plus a ballast bonus of $450,000.


With small steps, the Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI) climbed from 439 in early June to 609 as of Thursday without any decline.

The level of 600 point was last seen back in December 2018.

Rates from East Coast South America remained steady and were reasonably well supported from the US Gulf area, with limited fresh orders.

An Imabari 28 type was fixed from South Brazil to the Continent with grains at $13,750.

Similar to the bigger-sizes, brokers saw less tonnage open on the Continent leading to stronger rates fixed with some on voyage basis.

Since midweek, the Pacific market started to see a massive improvement, especially for vessels open in Southeast Asia.

A 38,000dwt ship was fixed for moving coal within the region in the high $12,000s, basis Indonesia delivery.



Rates in the Middle East Gulf continued an upward trajectory, with 270,000mt to China at WS 66, up about five points and 280,000mt to the US Gulf, basis Cape/Cape, rated at WS 30, an increase of three points.

Meanwhile, western loadings have also climbed, with 260,000mt West Africa to China at WS 64, increasing about four to five points. 270,000mt US Gulf to China is now at $6.5m.


Rates for 130,000mt West Africa to UK-Continent regained some of the ground lost in recent weeks, rising five points to WS 62-63 level.

135,000mt Black Sea to the Mediterranean has remained steady at WS 68/70 level and 140,000mt Basrah to the Mediterranean is unmoved at WS 32.5.


80,000mt Ceyhan to the Mediterranean improved slightly to WS 75, up 2.5 points, with Black Sea to Mediterranean again static at WS 80.

Aframaxes in the North Atlantic proved uneventful again, with 80,000mt cross-North Sea at WS 85, and 100,000mt Baltic to UK-Continent at WS 55/57.5 level.

The 70,000mt Caribbean to US Gulf trade weakened marginally to WS 72.5/75 level, while 70,000mt US Gulf to the Mediterranean was maintained at WS 70.


The market for 75,000mt Middle East Gulf to Japan regained 7.5 points to WS 112.5, with Minerva tonnage achieving a high of WS 115.

The 55,000mt to Japan trade followed suit and now sits at the WS 112.5 region.

The big gainer was the Arabian Gulf to East Africa run, where rates surged over 40 points to close to WS 190.

In Europe, a slow start to the week saw rates hovering around WS 90, before a modest recovery to the mid WS 90s.

In the 38,000mt US Gulf to UK-Continent backhaul trade, rates gradually firmed, with the market now hovering at WS 90 level, in contrast to the very low WS 80s a week ago.

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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