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Baltic Exchange releases weekly shipping market report

January 08, 2024

Abstract : The Baltic Exchange has published its weekly report of the dry and tanker markets for January 1-5, 2024.

BEIJING, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Baltic Exchange has published its weekly report of the dry and tanker markets for January 1-5, 2024 as below:


This week the capsize market has been marked by a mix of activities and challenges. Despite a slow start following the Christmas and New Year break, the Pacific market saw two active miners, contributing to a somewhat optimistic sentiment initially. However, reports of a derailment in western Australia introduced an element of uncertainty, leading to a decline initially of approximately $1.00-$1.20 on C5 at the beginning of the week. The Atlantic market also faced challenges, with a tightening tonnage list and a widening gap between bid and offer prices. Despite heightened activity in the Pacific on Thursday, the market pressure resulted in a further decline on C5, although there was a feeling that the market was starting to find a floor. This appears to be the case with two miners today having to increase their bid to attract offers, resulting in a slight uptick of approximately 30 cents today C5 as the week draws to a close. In the Atlantic, vessel tightness persisted, particularly for tonnage reaching south Brazil within January dates. Limited activity was observed for the first half of the week, but the prevailing tight conditions, coupled with an increase in activity towards the end of the week, resulting in positive reports of stronger fixtures, has maintained a bullish, yet positional, sentiment in the market. Overall, the BCI 5TC has been positive this week, which started at $28,896 and has closed today at $31,497.


Following the Christmas holiday, the Panamax market began sedately across the board, followed by rates coming under pressure from the outset. Downward pressure emanated primarily from a build-up of tonnage, unfixed over the festive period but also from a lack of demand in both basins all week, forcing cheaper levels to be conceded by owners. Following a softer finish to 2023, higher ballaster count from Southeast Asia only compounded to the weaker market. And, with Asia massively unsupported, the immediate outlook appeared extremely bearish; $13,000 was agreed on an 82,000dwt delivery China for a NoPac round trip but such rate unrepeatable come the end of the week. From the Atlantic, $24,000 was agreed on an 85,000dwt delivery NW Africa for a long duration trip via US Gulf into the Arabian Gulf with routing via Cape of Good Hope. Some recent period coverage emerged with reports of an 82,000dwt delivery China achieving $16,250 for one year’s period.


Not surprisingly it was a rather muted start to the New Year after the widespread holidays. The Atlantic remained rather sluggish in the south with limited fresh enquiry appearing and a good amount of prompt tonnage available. As the week progressed, some saw slightly better levels of enquiry from the US Gulf although limited fixing appeared. From Asia, brokers suggested that there was little fresh activity from the NoPac and Australia although there seemed to be a reasonable amount of activity from the south. There was little period action although a 63,000 open China was heard fixed for four to six months trading redelivery Singapore-Japan at $17,000 with scrubber benefit for charterers. From the Atlantic, a 63,000dwt was heard fixed delivery US Gulf trip redelivery East Mediterranean at $26,000. In Asia, a 56,000dwt fixed delivery Philippines trip via Indonesia redelivery south China at $12,000. From the Indian Ocean, rates remained fairly healthy, a 64,000dwt fixing delivery Navalakhi trip via Oman redelivery Chittagong at $20,000.


After recent holidays, the Atlantic market witnessed large corrections on BHSI this week, with cargo availability limited across the region. On the continent, a 32,000dwt was fixed basis delivery in Rouen for a trip to Morocco with grains at $11,000, whilst in the Mediterranean a 35,000dwt fixed from Safi to EC South America at $7,000 and a 38,000dwt  $11,000. The US Gulf also saw reductions as a 39,000dwt was rumoured to have been fixed from SW Pass to the Black Sea with grains in the low $20,000’s. In the south Atlantic, a 37,000dwt fixed from Santos to Morocco with a cargo of sugar at $20,000, whilst a 43,000dwt fixed from Recalada to Venezuela with a cargo of grains at $22,000. Asia was more balanced with an unknown handy fixing from China via Indonesia for a round trip at $9,200 but further information was limited.



LR’s in the MEG had a sharp downturn this, albeit short, week for Baltic Rate publications.  The 75Kt MEG/Japan TC1 index lost 23 points to WS169.44. The 90kt MEG/UK-Continent TC20 run to the UK-Continent also shed $275,000 to $4,940,000.

West of Suez, Mediterranean/East LR2’s on TC15 had a small tick up to the tune of just under $57,000 taking the index to 4,525,000.


In the MEG, LR1’s have also fallen on price this week however not quite as harshly as the LR2’s. The 55kt MEG/Japan index of TC5 is currently marked at WS190.44 (-13 points) and the 65kt MEG/UK-Continent on TC8 dipped $241,000 to $4,120,000.

On the UK-Continent, the 60Kt ARA/West Africa TC16 index, remained relatively flat only with an incremental loss of 3.77 points to WS208.13.


MR’s in the MEG like other sizes in the region saw freight value evaporate this week, the TC17 index shed 10% of its value coming off 27.43 points to WS233.71.

UK-Continent MR’s were repeatedly tested down this week, each market reported fixture consistently taking a chunk out of the market value. The 37kt ARA/US-Atlantic coast of TC2 at time of writing is pegged at WS129.4, dropping from WS154.2. On a TC19 run (37kt ARA/West Africa) the index has also come down 28.25 points to WS144.19.

The USG MR’s began the week lacklustre and then saw an influx of enquiry later in the week that looked to stem a resurge in rates for local discharge. TC14 (38kt US-Gulf/UK-Continent) went from WS163.5 to WS152.86. The 38kt US Gulf/Brazil on TC18 similarly dropped from WS234.57 to WS216.43. A 38kt US-Gulf/Caribbean TC21 trip bottomed out at $644,000 down from $742,000 to then rebound a little of the back of a widely reported fixture to $696,000.

The MR Atlantic Triangulation Basket TCE went from $27,753 to $22,705.


In the Mediterranean, Handymax’s were beaten down from WS240.28 to WS200.83.

Up in northwest Europe, the TC23 30kt Cross UK-Continent suffered similarly to the Mediterranean and lost 23.28 points to WS197.



The market has been almost steady for this short week with the 270,000mt Middle East Gulf to China route only losing about half a point to WS57.23 which shows a corresponding daily round-trip TCE of $27,395 basis the Baltic Exchange’s vessel description. It is reported that the second decade of January (10th-20th) is now covered and charterers are seemingly in no rush, considering the softer sentiment, to cover the third decade whilst also awaiting confirmation of February dates in about 10 days’ time.

In the Atlantic market, a similar situation has been seen with the rate for 260,000mt West Africa/China also dropping half a point to WS59.53 (which shows a round voyage TCE of $30,855/day) while the rate for 270,000mt US Gulf/China eased off $83,333 to $7,900,000 (which translates to a round-trip TCE of $30,082), although overnight an operator is reported to have taken two VLCCs at $8,390,000 with options to the UK Continent at $4,125,000 for the first decade February loading in the US Gulf.


Suezmaxes in West Africa have managed to push rates up this week with the rate for 130,000mt Nigeria/UK Continent route rising 17 points since Tuesday to WS135.62 (a daily round-trip TCE of $52,730). In the Mediterranean and Black Sea region, the tonnage lists are more charterer-friendly and the 135,000mt CPC/Med route has climbed a comparatively meagre two points to WS140.73 (showing a daily TCE of $59,985 round-trip). In the Middle East, the rate for 140,000mt Middle East Gulf to the Mediterranean eased five points to WS88.68, as some owners are keen to get back West to potentially capitalise on the rise in the Atlantic markets while the Eastern markets are quiet with minimal activity.


In the North Sea, the rate for the 80,000mt Cross-UK Continent route has risen six points to WS180 (showing a round-trip daily TCE of $69,820 basis Hound Point to Wilhelmshaven) which is now being assisted by the firming US Gulf market and bad weather conditions in northwest Europe.

In the Mediterranean market the rate for 80,000mt Cross-Mediterranean has remained flat this week at the WS150 level (basis Ceyhan to Lavera, that shows a daily round trip TCE of $36,435), with some vessels ballasting towards the US Gulf region.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the market has started a roller coaster ride, currently on a steep climb. The rate for 70,000mt east coast Mexico/US Gulf (TD26) has risen 75 points since Tuesday to WS252.13 (a daily round-trip TCE of $75,970) and the 70,000mt Covenas/US Gulf rate firmed 67 points to WS238.50 (a round-trip TCE of $62,391/day). The rate for the trans-Atlantic route of 70,000mt US Gulf/UK Continent has shot up a stunning 90 points to WS280.50 (a round trip TCE basis Houston/Rotterdam of $75,298/day) which has caught the attention of owners with Mediterranean and UK Continent tonnage availability, causing some of them to instruct their vessels to ballast towards the US Gulf.


We entered the new year with the continued stalemate for LNG freight pricing. A tighter tonnage list at the front end and some enquires had the potential to shift the tide of current pricing but with many cargoes being taken in internally or FOB tenders failing to materialise, there was not much to fundamentally shift the direction. A few optimisation opportunities are being talked about from Australia for end January/early February, but little has happened as yet. Rates themselves have remained flat, a break over Christmas and New Year meant that there was a bigger gap in the index than usual, but we saw negative movement across all three routes and both ship sizes. The 160cbm BLNG1g lost $4,491 this week closing at $64,221, meanwhile the 174cbm BLNG1_74g fell $5,817 to finish at $84,913. In the Atlantic, both 174cbm routes BLNG2_74g, and BLNG3_74g saw the biggest falls dropping $9,000, and $7,000 respectively to finish at $109,000 and $116,000. The 160cbm BLNG2g and BLNG3g finished slightly better but still down overall at $89,000 and $93,000 respectively.

Period has been quiet over the winter period, we published 6-months, 1-year, and 3-year with no change from the end of 2023 at $92,267, $96,000, and $68,300 respectively.


We begin the new year with a short week, following the bank holiday on 1st January so there was not much fixing going on. Position lists being updated showed that most ships travelling to the US were doing so via the Cape of Good Hope. Any ships (of which one was reported) going via the Panama in ballast are Pmax ships. A relatively quiet fixing week in the East meant that BLPG1 hovered around mid-high $130’s, gaining only $0.857 on the week to give our first weeks close at $137.143 and a daily TCE earning of $126,439.

The Atlantic some would have expected to have upsets on rates with BLPG2 now being affected by the new EU ETS scheme which came into effect on 1st January. But with only one completed fixture that has an option into flushing fixed at $120, and most brokers reporting little changes to rates its effect is yet to be realised. Rates themselves hovered around this level with BLPG2 closing at $119.6 a daily TCE earning of $143,905. BLPG3 had a correction mid-week after an initial rise to $126 before closing at $221 an overall fall of $2.571 and a daily TCE earning of $133,998.

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 060123 050124.png

Chart shows Baltic Dry Index (BDI) during Jan. 6, 2023 to Jan. 5, 2024

BFABDI_C-FFA 051023 160825.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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