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Baltic Exchange releases weekly shipping market report

December 20, 2022

Abstract : The Baltic Exchange has published its weekly report of the dry and tanker markets for December 12-16, 2022.

BEIJING, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Baltic Exchange has published its weekly report of the dry and tanker markets for December 12-16, 2022 as below:


The Capesize sector saw a surge, especially in the Atlantic since midweek. More cargo from West Africa came to the market and subsequently pushed the Brazil to Qingdao run to a higher level. However, fixtures were lacking as very limited prompt ballasters could make the loading dates. In the North Atlantic, the transatlantic and fronthaul runs moved sharply higher amid a lack of tonnage in the region. Laycan window and the premium from breaching International Navigating Limits were taken into consideration. Meanwhile, sentiment suggested a year-end push. In the Pacific, the West Australia to Qingdao trade remained fairly active, the route being marked at $8.63 on Friday. Overall, the average of the 5 Timecharter routes was priced at $18,312 by the end of proceedings, a week-on-week increase in excess of $4,000.


A continuation of the previous week, with a slow but steady rise in rates in the Atlantic. The North Atlantic again witnessed a tightening of tonnage supply, with fronthaul trades ex US Gulf prevalent. Coupled with a better volume of transatlantic mineral demand, the positive sentiment endured. $20,000 was agreed on an 82,000dwt delivery Continent for a trip via NCSA redelivery Rotterdam, whilst an 81,000dwt delivery Rotterdam achieved low $24,000s for a trip via US Gulf redelivery Far East. Asia struggled to get going this week with pressure mounting from the very start as the tonnage count grew. This was pitched against a lacklustre demand book and rates drifted consequently. Despite the gloom in Asia, there was plenty of period discussion and support from the FFA market, with reports of deals concluded proving to be a viable option for some owners. An 82,000dwt delivery South China agreed $16,000 for about 11/14 months.


A rather patchy week for the sector with some key areas seeing upward momentum and others lacking fresh impetus. In Asia, sentiment was negative throughout the week with little fresh enquiry from both north and south. Tonnage availability grew with owners reducing expectations prior to the upcoming holidays. The Atlantic saw demand increase from the US Gulf sector as tonnage availability become limited for December cancelling. Positive sentiment was seen from the South Atlantic - mainly for fronthaul business. Limited period activity was seen, although a 63,000dwt open North China was fixed for 10 to 12 months trading at $13,850. From the Atlantic, a 63,000dwt was fixed delivery US Gulf trip redelivery China at $37,000. Elsewhere, a 56,000dwt open Oran was fixed for a trip to West Africa at $15,000. In Asia, a 58,000dwt open North China was fixed for a round voyage via Indonesia at $8,000. Whilst for backhaul cargoes a 63,000dwt open North China was heard fixed for a trip to West Africa in the low $7,000s.


An inauspicious week punctuated with small flurries of activity in certain regions. East Coast South America came under pressure, especially in North Brazil as more tonnage ballasted from the Western Mediterranean and Continent. A 30,000dwt was fixed Amazon River to West Coast Mexico at $22,000, whilst a 32,000dwt was fixed from Itajai via Bahia Blanca to South Brazil at $17,250. The Continent saw a continued lack of requirements, with a 34,000dwt fixed from Rouen to Morocco with an intended cargo of grains at $8,750. In North China-Japan there has been a small increase in steel requirements and a 38,000dwt fixed from Qingdao via South Korea to the US East Coast at $12,000. A 36,000dwt fixed from North China via Japan to South East Asia with a cargo of steels at $8,050.


In the Middle East Gulf this week we’ve seen the LRs getting some strength back. TC1 has hopped up 18.13 points to settle at WS311.88 and on a run West (TC20) - after dropping into the high $5,000,000s midweek - has returned back up and over the $6,000,000 mark. Similarly on the LR1s a 55,000 AG/Japan came up to WS372.86 (+24.29) off the back of significantly reduced vessel availability, with a trip to the West on TC8 climbing around $250,000 to $5,480,000.

MRs in the region have been stable all week and the TC17 index has floated around WS475.

In Europe, LR activity looks to have been less potent and the TC15 index came off $191,667 to $5,033,333. After a widely reported fixture at WS320, TC16 has climbed quickly to this level where it has then stayed.

On the UK-Continent MRs have suffered from a distinct lack in open activity this week. Subsequently, TC2 has come down 23.33 points to settle at WS380.28 and likewise TC19 has shed 25 points to WS398.57.

Over in the Americas the MRs have had a rough week. Freight has been slashed with an average drop of 22% across the three Baltic routes. TC14 is currently marked at WS237.5 (-52.5). TC18 lost WS93.33 to settle at WS332.5 and TC21 had a $375,000 chunk taken out of it to just over the $1,000,000 level.

The MR Atlantic Triangulation Basket TCE lost $12,316 from $68,755 to $56,439.

Handymax in Europe have resurged this week. In the Baltic, TC9 continued its charge adding 235 points to be pegged at WS882.14 by the end of the week. TC23 - after a stable period last week - finally skipped up to WS400. TC6 has seen firm sentiment with vessels suffering from weather delays. The index has jumped up to just under WS460 (+42.82) at time of writing.


The VLCC market bottomed out at the end of last week and rates have been firming. 270,000 mt Middle East Gulf to China is now 1.5 points higher than a week ago at WS82.88, which translates into a round-voyage TCE of $50,700 basis the Baltic ship description. The 280,000mt Middle East Gulf to US Gulf (via the cape/cape routing) trip is assessed up one point at WS56.28.

In the Atlantic region, the rate for 260,000mt West Africa/China rose two points to WS81.45 (a round-trip TCE of about $50,500 per day) and 270,000mt US Gulf/China fell by $56,250 to a touch above the $9.53 million level ($44,350 per day round-trip TCE, about $400 per day less than a week ago).


The Suezmax market slipped in all markets this week. Rates for 135,000mt CPC/Augusta fell 6.5 points to WS293.44 (a round-trip TCE of $153,600 per day) while the 130,000mt Nigeria/Rotterdam voyage shed another 10 points to WS170 (a daily round-trip TCE of about $63,900). The 140,000mt Basrah/Lavera market eased a further four points to WS89.


Lost ground this week with the 80,000mt Hound Point/Wilhelmshaven route down three points to WS321.88 (a round-trip daily TCE of $146,800). In the Mediterranean, the 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera market is now 14 points lower at WS371.69 (a daily round trip TCE of $135,300). The Stateside Aframax market touched bottom and a gentle rise has been seen of late. Rates for the 70,000mt East Coast Mexico/US Gulf route rose eight points week-on-week to WS248.13 ($56,500 per day round-trip TCE). Rates for the 70,000mt Covenas/US Gulf trip are seen as flat at between WS233-234 (a daily round-trip TCE of $48,700). For the longer-haul 70,000mt US Gulf/Rotterdam voyage, rates fell 20 points in the first half of the week and have now recovered five points to end up at WS267.5 at close of play on Thursday 15 December (showing a round trip TCE of $60,000 per day).


We couldn’t have expected that by Christmas time, when the weather is as cold as it currently is, we would have an oversupply of tonnage and a drop in rates. Period has been the mainstay for LNG with most of the activity covered with term business. We have seen highs of over $500 k PD round trip in Q4, and although those levels have fallen away, the outlook is positive. Rates will rebound and a bullish take on 2023 is positive for LNG on all routes. This week all three routes have again fallen short of a Christmas miracle. Subdued fixing and tonnage supply has kept rates soft and all three routes have seen falls between $12,000-$16,500 over the week. Term fixtures are ongoing and parties are still in discussions for several bits of business for 2023. Current estimations for a 174k 2-Stroke vsl with 0.085% boil off: $206,250 for 12 months, and $177,000 for three years.


BLPG1 has been flat this last week, with rates shifting only $1.571 down to close at $138.286 for a run Ras Tanura-Chiba. December has all been fixed away and focus has shifted into the New Year. Reluctance to fix too far out suggests that there could be softer sentiment from charterers. And while owners may complain of sluggish sentiment, ultimately - with a TCE round trip earning of $128,232 per day - they are shedding crocodile tears.

BLPG2 has shown barely any life with minimal shifts over the week closing at $128.2 a drop of 60 cents over the week. Slightly more life was shown on BLPG3, where a drop below $200 is bringing back some bearish sentiment. The first half of January has been fixed away and charterers are beginning to look ahead. But with a tighter tonnage list and weather issues coming into play, it could be that we see little change over the next few weeks as charterers look for firm itineraries and safer bets to fix away.

Headquartered in London and a subsidiary of the Singapore Exchange (SGX), the Baltic Exchange publishes a range of indices and assessments which provide an accurate and independent benchmark of the cost of transporting commodities and goods by sea. These include the Baltic Dry Index (BDI), the dry bulk shipping industry's best known indicator. Published daily since 1985, this provides a snapshot of the daily spot market earnings of capesize, panamax and supramax vessel types on the world's key trading routes.

BDI - BDI 161221 161222.png

Chart shows Baltic Dry Index (BDI) during Dec.16, 2021 to Dec.16, 2022

BFABDI_C-FFA 160922 161123.png

Baltic Forward Assessment for BDI

In March 2018 the BDI was re-weighted and is published using the following ratios of time charter assessments: 40 percent capesize, 30 percent panamax and 30 percent supramax. The information is provided by a panel of international shipbrokers.

(Source: The Baltic Exchange, edited by Niu Huizhe with Xinhua Silk Road,

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Keyword: International Shipping Centers Development Index Baltic Exchange

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