Baltic Exchange Shipping Insights



It was a Brazilian affair with a strong splash of bunkers characterising the Capesize market over the past week.

Largely traded in European hours, ballaster tonnage was being secured for an ever tightening window at the end of July.

The C3 opened the week at $22.195 to close at $23.864. The lift in voyage rates across the indices on Friday was thought to have been substantially affected by the bunker market, which has been highly volatile this week, particularly in Asia, pushing vessel operating costs up.

Trading activity on the West Australian C5 route was relatively mild, with sporadic trading from charterers. The route opened the week at $9.15 to close at $9.509.

The Atlantic basin remains tight, although rumours for more competitive offers are being heard in trading.

The C5TC continued its rise, closing out on Friday at $27,389 surpassing highs of 2018 while still looking stable and supported.


Last Monday started very slowly with little appearing to trade anywhere.

However, the market quickly continued its rapid rise as the Atlantic remained starved of early tonnage.

In addition, Vale started taking multiple larger units to cover Brazilian iron ore stems to China.

Talk of up to 10 vessels being taken in quick succession fanned the flames on an already bullish market, which then saw Panamaxes being taken for two laden legs with minimum durations at $20,000, redelivery in the Atlantic.

The East rose steadily, but unspectacularly, until the end of the week. This was driven by Atlantic gains and the paper market, with tonnage in the South fixing South American rounds, or short period, at higher than last done.

The North Pacific was subdued until the end of the week. An injection of fresh enquiry from the North Pacific and Australia then saw rates jump further, as charterers were forced to cover with no sign of the market easing in the short term.


The Baltic Supramax Index (BSI) remained firmly in positive territory; this was caused by strong demand from the Atlantic.

Period activity surfaced, a 63,000dwt vessel fixed delivery North China for approximately four to six months redelivery Singapore-Japan at $10,500.

With a lack of fresh tonnage, rates in the Atlantic rose from East Coast South America. Supramaxes were rumoured to have fixed at close to $15,000 plus $500,000 for trips to Singapore/Japan.

The Mediterranean/Black Sea also proved fruitful, a 61,000dwt ship was rumoured fixed delivery Canakkale for a trip via the Black Sea and Red Sea with redelivery in Port Said at $17,000.

The US Gulf remained firm. From the Continent demand was not as intense.

The Asian arena was split, with a build-up of tonnage and lack of enquiry in the North.

Further south, activity remained steady. The Indian Ocean also saw better numbers, with Supramaxes seeing close to $14,000 plus $400,000 ballast bonus, delivery South Africa redelivery Singapore/Japan.

The attraction from the Atlantic drew vessels away from the area.


Overall, it was a positive week for the Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI), with Atlantic routes further improving but the Pacific basin again easing.

East Coast South America and the US Gulf market remained active and brokers also suggested the tonnage list appeared to be tight from the Black Sea.

On the period front, a 35,000-tonner was fixed from Rio Grande at a rate in the low $13,000s for three to five months.

From East Coast South America, a coastal trip was reportedly done at $14,000 on a small-sized Handysize vessel.

A trip with sugar to China paid $16,000 on a 36,000dwt ship. Otherwise, a 36,000-tonner open Norway was fixed for a trip to the US Gulf at $9,000 for the first 45 days and $11,500 thereafter.

Little was reported from Asia this week.




In the Middle East, as tensions remain, the market slipped further, albeit less than a point.

Exxon fixed a Reliance re-let in the early part of the week setting the market for 280,000mt Middle East Gulf to the US Gulf, basis Cape to Cape at WS 19.5.

Rates for 270,000mt Middle East Gulf to China are now at WS 46/47 level.

In the Atlantic we saw 270,000mt US Gulf to China fall further to slightly below $5m, whilst 260,000mt West Africa to China is still hovering around the WS 47 mark.


Rates for 130,000mt West Africa to the UK Continent continued to fall. At the time of writing it was at WS 57.5.

It was a similar story for 135,000mt Black Sea to the Mediterranean, as charterers regained control and lowered the market about five points to WS 75.

Despite heightened tensions regarding the ongoing Iranian threats, the market for 140,000mt Basrah to the Mediterranean dropped to the low-mid WS 30s, evidenced by BP paying WS 31.5.


Rates remained flat, with 80,000mt Ceyhan to the Mediterranean at WS 87.5/90 level. 80,000mt Cross-North Sea was at WS 87.5/90, while 100,000mt Baltic to the UK Continent was at WS 65.

Similarly, rates stateside were sideways, with 70,000mt Caribbean to the US Gulf at WS 67.5 region and 70,000mt US Gulf to the Mediterranean at WS 62.5/65 level.

In the Middle East, rates fell off five points to end the week at WS 110/112.5 level for 80,000mt Arabian Gulf to Singapore.


The clean market for 75,000mt from the Middle East to Japan lost almost WS 10 points to settle at WS 80.

In contrast, 55,000mt Arabian Gulf to Japan initially dropped WS 2.5 points to WS 92 region, before improved demand saw rates recover to now sit at between WS 97.5/100.

The 35,000mt Middle East Gulf/East Africa trade was steady at WS 130 level.

In Europe, rates for 37,000mt Continent to the US Atlantic Coast fell around 17.5 points to low WS 120s, while the 38,000mt backhaul trade moved in tandem to now sit at WS 72.5.

This was in contrast to WS 90 region at the start of this week.

This report is produced by the Baltic Exchange.


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