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Baltic Exchange releases weekly shipping market report

March 13, 2024

Abstract : The Baltic Exchange has published its weekly report of the dry and tanker markets for March 4-8, 2024.

BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) -- The Baltic Exchange has published its weekly report of the dry and tanker markets for March 4-8, 2024 as below:


Throughout the week, the capesize market experienced shifts in sentiment and activity. The week commenced robustly in the Pacific, with all three miners bustling with activity, driving up rates, and causing C5 to spike by at least $1.00. However, as the week progressed there was a notable softening in market sentiment, particularly evidenced by a substantial drop in the BCI 5TC which plummeted by $3,142 to reach $31,260, and the C5 index experienced a significant drop of $1.56 to $12.90. This decline was attributed to subdued activity in both the Pacific and Atlantic markets. In the Atlantic, bids were swiftly withdrawn from south Brazil and West Africa to the Far East, widening the gap as owners sought to resist. However, the market saw a turnaround towards the end of the week, influenced by positive movements in the FFA market and a pickup in activity in both basins. In the Pacific brokers have also noticed an increase in operator-controlled cargoes helping the C5 index to edge back up, with the C5 index ending the week at $14.40. Activity in the Atlantic notably picked up, particularly from south Brazil and West Africa to the Far East. All in all, it has been a volatile but positive week, illustrated by the BCI 5TC rising by $2,205 to close at $35,201.


Mixed market signals highlighted well with a volatile FFA market failed to dampen spirits in the Panamax sector, with significant gains made. Transatlantic volume remained thin still, but positive sentiment radiated from firmer rates on the fronthaul trips. South America mid-week became the market’s driving force, with the April arrival window absorbing several vessels at firmer rates compared to end March where rates inevitably became discounted. Typically, some of the well described units were able to achieve around the $20,000 mark arrival delivery Singapore for route P6 trips. This seemingly impacted positively on south positions in the Pacific basin with solid levels of demand from Indonesia and Australia adding some gravitas to an already well supported market, with $20,000 achieved a few times on 82,000dwt types on Australia mineral round trips. Period activity was muted possibly impacted by a volatile FFA market, but reports emerged of a 93,000dwt delivery China fixing at $16,250 basis four to seven months, also an 81,000dwt open north China fixed 12 to 14 months trading at 122.5 percent of BPI. 


A week of mixed fortunes for the owning side of things. The Atlantic overall lacked much fresh impetus certainly from the US Gulf, whilst there was also limited possibilities from the south Atlantic. The Continent-Mediterranean saw some action although rates generally remained flat. However, a more positive feel from the Asian arena with tonnage supply remaining tight, the rates being seen were healthy. Period cover was short, a 58,000dwt open China was fixed for one year at $16,500, and a 56,000dwt open SE Asia fixed seven to nine months at $16,000. From the Atlantic, a 61,000dwt open West Africa fixed a trip to China with manganese ore at $28,500 and a 58,000dwt open Mediterranean fixed a trip to the US Gulf at $16,000. From Asia a 61,000dwt open Singapore fixed a trip via Malaysia redelivery SE Asia at $21,000. A 56,000dwt open Philippines fixed a trip via Indonesia redelivery Bangladesh at $24,000. It remains to be seen if the optimism in the Asian basin can continue through to the upcoming week. 


After an extended period of decline, the first shoots of positivity emerged in the US Gulf, with more visible activity, a 39,000dwt opening in Tampa fixing to the Continent with grains at $11,500 whilst a 40,000dwt fixed from Baltimore to Türkiye with an intended cargo of scrap at $13,000. The south Atlantic also showed promise of improvements with a 36,000dwt rumored to have fixed from Antonina to the Continent with sugar at around $18,500 and a 38,000dwt fixing from Recalada to WC South America with grains at $27,000. The positivity seen in Asia last week continued for a majority of the week with rumors of upper teens being achieved on larger handies for trips from South East Asia via Australia to China and a 38,000dwt logger was rumored to have fixed for 2 to 3 laden legs in the $17,000’s but as the week progressed there was a shift in balance and numbers had begun to soften as cargo availability reduced. 



LR2 freight levels in the MEG looked to have reached a floor this week. The 75kt MEG/Japan TC1 index bottomed out at WS144 and has since returned to WS151. The 90kt MEG/UK-Continent TC20 trip to the UK-Continent similarly reached a floor of $4.38 million mid-week then climbing back up to $4.57 million at time of writing.

West of Suez, Mediterranean/East LR2 freight remained in the doldrums this week seen in the TC15 index going from $4.81 million to $4.51 million.


In the MEG, LR1’s followed the behavior of their larger sisters this week. The 55kt MEG/Japan index of TC5 stopped at the WS166 level and is currently pegged at WS173. The 65kt MEG/UK-Continent of TC8 levelled off at $3.89 million to then tick back up to $3.97 million.

On the UK-Continent, the 60kt ARA/West Africa TC16 trip trundled along in the mid-low WS170’s all week.


MR’s in the MEG have been reportedly stable over the last few days. The TC17 index is currently marked at WS328 after halting its previous downturn at WS317 earlier in the week.  

Up in the UK-Continent MR’s lost steam this week. The 37kt ARA/US-Atlantic coast of TC2 index dipped from WS231 to WS173. On a TC19 run (37kt ARA/West Africa) the index shed 50 points to WS197.

The USG MR’s made a significant resurgence this week following a plethora of enquiry into the market. TC14 (38kt US-Gulf/UK-Continent) shot up 70 points to WS226.43. The 38kt US Gulf/Brazil on TC18 also jumped to WS307 (+W75). The 38kt US-Gulf/Caribbean TC21 added 62% to its value and is currently at $1.14 million. The Baltic round TCE for the trip climbed by 121% to $46,000 per day as a result.


In the Mediterranean, Handymax’s continued along the TC6 index at WS320 all week, still returning $57,000 per day Baltic round trip.

Up in north west Europe, the TC23 30kt Cross UK-Continent dipped 21.11 points to WS238.33.


The market sharply rose early in the week, and now sentiment is lacking. The rate for the 270,000 mt Middle East Gulf to China climbed to WS74.55 on Tuesday easing back to last be assessed at WS71.5 which is a week-on-week gain of 11 points and corresponds to a daily round-trip TCE of $48,914 basis the Baltic Exchange’s vessel description.

In the Atlantic market, the 260,000 mt West Africa/China route experienced something similar, insofar as rose to WS75.05  and has gradually fallen back to an overall week on week gain of nine points at WS72 which shows a round voyage TCE of $49,796 per day. The rate for 270,000 mt US Gulf/China ascended to $9.4 million and has since slipped back to $9,083,333 (a weekly rise of $172,222) providing a round-trip daily TCE of $44,881.


Suezmaxes in West Africa remained around the WS102.5-103 level for the 130,000 mt Nigeria/UK Continent trip (a daily round-trip TCE of about $38,000). In the Mediterranean and Black Sea region the rate for 135,000 mt CPC/Med eased about one point to the WS108 level (showing a daily TCE of $38,200 round-trip). In the Middle East, the rate for 140,000 mt Middle East Gulf to the Mediterranean (via the Suez Canal) eased eight points to WS97.5 basis routing via the Suez Canal.


In the North Sea, the rate for the 80,000 mt Cross-UK Continent has fallen a solitary point to about WS125 (showing a round-trip daily TCE of around $26,300 basis Hound Point to Wilhelmshaven).

In the Mediterranean market the rate for 80,000 mt Cross-Mediterranean has managed to recover 44 points to WS151.72 (basis Ceyhan to Lavera, that shows a daily round trip TCE of just over $39,000).

Across the Atlantic, the Stateside market has risen slightly. The rate for 70,000 mt east coast Mexico/US Gulf (TD26) rose 2.5 points WS180 (a daily TCE of $42,929 round trip) while the rate for 70,000 mt Covenas/US Gulf (TD9) firmed 2 points to WS174.69 (a round-trip TCE of $38,260 per day). The rate for the trans-Atlantic route of 70,000 mt US Gulf/UK Continent (TD25) has 9 points added to the WS200 level (a round trip TCE basis Houston/Rotterdam of approximately $48,700 per day).


A quiet week for the LNG market, at least in terms of spot fixing. With few reported fixtures around either basin the spot price has languished staying particularly flat, BLNG2-174 moved only $75 on the week overall. Rates are close to the bottom and brokers are looking at more period focused deals to fill their quotas, with ballas bonus back to the hub only in the Pacific and the just back on the cusp of back to loadport in the Atlantic there isn’t much impetus for the market to shift quickly.

BLNG1-174 Aus-Japan shed $1,355 on the week closing at $52,628 while as previously stated BLNG2-174 gained an impressive $75 to finish up virtually unchanged at $50,697. BLNG3-174 moved little to finish at $54,473 a rise of $1,662 on the week. The 160cbm index followed suit, BLNG1g was down only $756 finishing at $35,345 while BLNG2g and BLNG3g both moved up by $606, and $2,027 respectively. The close at $38,492 and $42,991 respectively for BLNG2g and BLNG3g ends a rather uninteresting week for the spot market.

As discussions focused more on 1 year+ period rates for six months remained unchanged at $62,500. The 1-year assessment moved up to a close of $79,300 while 3-year terms were unchanged as yet on $90,100.


Many people from the LPG market have been in Tokyo for the LPG Conference this week, which has helped in keeping the AG market quiet. Rates were steady/flat across the week with a stable tonnage list of quiet cargo sheet. Rates for BLPG1 Ras Tanura-Chiba rose by $2.714 giving a final publication rate of $29,571 and a daily TCE earning equivalent of $37,920.

The US Market was a little more subdued in actual fixtures – only one reported spot fixture whereas there have been fewer than five for April window so far. A tighter tonnage list after a clear out on contractual business means the ships free to work spot were greatly reduced. The rates reacted accordingly and for BLPG2 Houston-Flushing a rise of $4.4 pushed the index up to $63.8 and a daily TCE earning equivalent of $62,105. BLPG3 Houston-Chiba gained a decent chunk of change moving up $8.714 to a close of $114.857 and a daily TCE Earning equivalent of $41.923.

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 100323 080324.png

Chart shows Baltic Dry Index (BDI) during March 10, 2023 to March 8, 2024

BFABDI_C-FFA 081223 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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