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Baltic Exchange releases weekly shipping market report

March 20, 2023

Abstract : The Baltic Exchange has published its weekly report of the dry and tanker markets for March 13-17, 2023.

BEIJING, March 20 (Xinhua) -- The Baltic Exchange has published its weekly report of the dry and tanker markets for March 13-17, 2023 as below:


The Capesize lifted $2,401 for its time charter average on Tuesday, but failed to keep up the uprising trend throughout the week. It closed at $15,867, which is still an improvement week-on-week. The Atlantic basin cooled off in the middle of the week with limited cargoes lending further support. The fronthaul run eventually slipped beneath $30,000 on March 17. In the Pacific, the backhaul run was one step away from coming back to positive territory and is currently marked at -$333. The west Australia to Qingdao run climbed above $9, but soon declined back to the mid/high $8s. Coal from east Australia to China appeared active, with some paying close to $20,000 for a round trip at one stage.


It proved to be a muddling week for the Panamax market, which started out positively for owners but ends on something of a tepid nature. In the Atlantic, much of the activity early part of the week was on the fronthaul trips from the America’s with solid levels of support. The end March arrival window ex EC South America was perhaps the exception with rates here under pressure. Fronthaul rates via NC South America hovered around the $22/23,000 level depending on the respective ship’s specs and delivery. Asia returned a similar story with the coal runs ex Indonesia supported early part with several deals concluded around the $17,000 mark for 75,000dwt types. However, rates eased back as the weekend approached. Longer trips were lacking and Australia coal runs into India were the only trip supported. Plenty of period activity on the week, $18,750 agreed for one year on an 82,000dwt delivery China.


The Supramax market has been in a buoyant mood, with the S10TC average gaining 922 over the week to settle at 14,502. It was a quiet start in the Atlantic, but it picked up as the week progressed. Gains were modest with the market described as positional. By the close, more cargoes were coming into the market which lent some confidence. There is healthy demand from the South Atlantic with the tonnage list getting shorter. A 64,000dwt vessel reported for a USG fronthaul at $20,000pd. A Supramax, meanwhile, was rumoured to have fixed for Brazil to Turkey with grains at $22,000pd.

The Pacific was busy from the start, with healthy coal demand from Indonesia and backhaul cargoes driving the market. This, combined with rising NoPac and Australian round voyage rates, saw sentiment improve as the week progressed. Owners have been unwilling to discount given the stable cargo levels. A 56,000dwt reported for an Indonesia to China voyage was fixed at $20,000 delivery Singapore. Meanwhile, a 63,000dwt open Indonesia for a trip to China was at similar levels. An Ultramax was fixed ex-yard for a Nopac round voyage at $17,000pd.


Positivity continued this week. The US Gulf was active with a 40,000dwt fixing from SW Pass to Morocco with an intended cargo of grains at $15,000, whilst a 38,000dwt was rumoured to have fixed from Mexico via Florida to the UK in the region of $12,000. In East Coast South America a 37,000dwt fixed from Santos to Morocco at $16,000. A 37,000dwt was fixed from Recalada to West Coast South America at $22,000.  In the Mediterranean, a 40,000dwt fixed passing Canakkale via the Black Sea to the US Gulf with an intended cargo of cement at $16,000. Period was active with a 40,000dwt fixing ex-yard in Japan for 11 to 14 Months with mid April dates at $16,000. A 38,000dwt open Continent was rumoured to have fixed for three to five months with Atlantic redelivery at $13,500. A 36,000dwt open in Algeria was fixed for four to six months at $15,000 with worldwide redelivery.


In the Middle East Gulf this week freight levels have suffered as enquiry seemingly dropped off. TC1 is currently marked at WS182.5 (-14.06) and WS180 is reported on subjects. Similarly, for a run West on TC20, the index has come off $42,859 to $4,728,571. Much like their larger counterparts the LR1s have felt weakening sentiments this week but not to the same extent. TC5 dipped a meagre 1.08 points to WS195.71 and TC8 similarly shed $66,000 from $3,825,000 to $3,758,000.

AG MRs have been somewhat unsettled. The TC17 index fluctuated up and down - ranging between WS217 and WS232 - where it topped out and is currently marked at WS228.57.

West of Suez, LRs have improved of the back of some activity. TC15 jumped up to $4,250,000 and has since resettled back to $4,150,000, which is still a $216,667 improvement. TC16 has risen an incremental five points to WS182.14 where it looks to have plateaued for the moment.

Rates have surged circa 35 percent this week on the UK-Continent MRs. TC2 has jumped up to WS270.56 (+72.78) with a couple of vessels reported on subs at WS270 at the time of writing. Similarly, TC19 has hopped up 73.57 points to WS280.

European Handymax freight has rebounded this week with TC23 adding 85 points to WS258.56 and TC6 likewise climbing 80.62 points to WS333.75.

The American MR market had another week of big movement. But sadly for owners it was in a downward direction. TC14 has had 57.5 points cut away, dropping the index from WS166.67 to WS109.17 with reports of WS105 currently on subjects. TC18 similarly lost 91.66 points to WS181.67 after a widely reported charter at WS182.5 on Wednesday. A run to the Caribbean on TC21 has followed suit and is currently pegged at $675,000 (-$412,500).


The VLCC market eased slightly in most areas this week. For the 270,000mt Middle East Gulf to China voyage the rate fell six points early in the week and then recovered about three points by Thursday to W93.77, which shows a daily round voyage TCE of $89,100 (about $1,000 less than a week ago) basis the Baltic Exchange’s vessel description. The rate for 280,000mt Middle East Gulf to the US Gulf (via the cape/cape routing) is assessed 1.5 points lower at WS60.28. In the Atlantic market, the rate for 260,000mt West Africa/China also lost a net three points to WS90.50, showing a round-trip TCE of $84,700 per day. The rate for 270,000mt US Gulf/China rose a steady $122,000 at $11,472,000 ($64,900 per day round-trip TCE).


The rate for 135,000mt CPC/Augusta regained most of the recent lost ground, rising three points to WS169 (a round-trip TCE of $91,300 per day). In the Atlantic, a busy programme in West Africa and the US Gulf has seen tonnage thin out and rates improve with the market still trending upward. For the 130,000mt Nigeria/Rotterdam voyage the rate climbed 13 points to WS128/129 level ($59,400 daily TCE basis a round-trip). In the Middle East the rate for 140,000mt Basrah/Lavera rose 6.5 points to just over WS71.


In the North Sea market, the rate for the 80,000mt Hound Point/Wilhelmshaven route slipped 1.5 points to WS169 (a daily round-trip TCE of $70,300). In the Mediterranean, the rate for 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera rebounded and climbed 22.5 points to WS198 (a daily round-trip TCE of $70,600). Across the Atlantic, the Stateside Aframax market reversed the recent trend and rates rose. The rate for 70,000mt East Coast Mexico/US Gulf gained more than 18.5 points to between WS390-392.5 ($149,800 per day round-trip TCE). The rate for 70,000mt Covenas/US Gulf climbed 20 points to the mid-point of WS360-362.5 (a daily round-trip TCE of $125,300). For the Transatlantic route of 70,000mt US Gulf/Rotterdam, the rate regained 26 points to WS258 (showing a round trip TCE of $78,600 per day).  


The pacific basin remains healthy despite a slight drop in spot rates over the week. Enquiry remains, although the focus - as ever - remains on shorter period business. Up to one-year deals are being worked quite extensively and the spot rates remain flat. The route over the week shed just over $3,000 to close at $73,803 for BLNG1g Aus-Japan. The tonnage list out east does look tighter. Those who have enquiry up until end April-early May are going to struggle with ships offering in. This will do little to stimmy rates, but similarly will keep rates from falling much further.

In the Atlantic the routes faced a slightly more bearish outlook, losing a little more than the BLNG1g - but only just. Tonnage in the US is much healthier and with an extended tonnage list versus little requirement there could be tough times ahead for the spot rates. However, it is hard to verify if rates can or will drop further. There currently aren’t enough fixtures to get a feeling from owners of what rates they would be willing to accept. Further exports from the restarted Freeport terminal have helped, but tonnage is for the most part set aside to cover program and contractual business. This has done little to change the available vessels. As we finish the week, BLNG2g US-UK closes at $53,697 - a fall of $3,405 throughout the week. BLNG3g US-Japan finishes at $60,571, a fall of $5,373. Period fell slightly but not through lack of interest. There are just more vessels able to work on shorter-term contracts at the moment and as a result period assessments have fallen ever so slightly. Our current estimations for a 174k 2-Stroke vessel with 0.085 percent boil off and delivery one month ahead: $187,000 for 12 months, and $151,500 for three years.


Ras Tanura-Chiba saw little movement this week with rates hovering around the close at $96.283 (which gives a TCE Equivalent of $83,097 per day round trip). The fixing window is already in the first decade of April, but tonnage up until this point remains relatively healthy. Sentiment is slightly muted with possible reductions of cargoes from a few major charterers. At the end of the week there was contrasting reports of ships fixed for both $90 and $107 on the same routes. But with some replacement issues reported this could be explained away as just cover. The market as a whole remains steady.

In the Atlantic, both BLPG2 and BLPG3 rose. But with fixing windows out as far as the last decade April rates are expected to remain flat. A charterer took a ship for both East and West options off 19-20 April at $149 and $84 slightly above final index rates. However, with the arb currently showing no signs of life expectations are that the routes will be reflected well with the index published rates. The week finished with a Houston-Flushing run at $81.8 (a rise of $1.4 over the week), while Houston-Chiba finished at $145.714 (a rise of $1.285 on the week).

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 180322 170323.jpg

Chart shows Baltic Dry Index (BDI) during March 18, 2022 to March 17, 2023

BFABDI_C-FFA 191222 150224.jpg

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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