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Baltic Exchange releases weekly shipping market report

April 07, 2024

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

BEIJING, April 7 (Xinhua) -- The Baltic Exchange has published its weekly report of the dry and tanker markets for April 1-5, 2024 as below:


The Capes started the week off slowly but gradually gained momentum. Despite decent cargo volumes, particularly in the Pacific, the C5 index experienced a 50-cent drop, settling at $9.640 as the week got under way. There was pressure in the south Atlantic due to a substantial amount of April ballasters, which led to weaker fixtures from south Brazil and West Africa contributing to a significant drop of $1.685 on the C3 index early in the week. Overall, there were signs of optimism mid-week with increased fixing volumes and positive sentiment, echoed by the positive turn in the FFA market, the C5 index saw a modest increase to $9.905, while the C3 index reached $23.90. However, any potential upside was tempered by a quieter end to the week, particularly in the Pacific due to holidays in China. All in all, it has been a negative end to the week with the BCI 5TC dropping by $655 to conclude the week at $18,855. 


A rather staggered week for the sector with both holidays at the beginning and the end of the week. The north Atlantic failed to materialize with very limited fresh enquiry being seen and a plentiful supply of tonnage. A bit more interest was shown from the south Atlantic where demand remained fairly steady, an 82,000dwt fixing delivery Padang via EC South America redelivery Singapore-Japan at $21,000. Whilst an 81,000dwt fixed delivery EC South America redelivery Skaw-Gibraltar at $23,000. From Asia, with the slow end to the week negative pressure remained again little in the way of fresh enquiry. An 81,000dwt was fixed basis delivery Kunsan for a NoPac round voyage at $13,500. Whilst a 74,000dwt open China fixed a trip via Indonesia redelivery India at $12,200 for WC India and $13,300 for EC India. Period activity remained fairly subdued, an 81,000dwt open Japan fixing four to seven months trading redelivery worldwide at $17,000. 


A rather negative week overall for the Ultramax and Supramax sizes with little fresh enquiry appearing in most areas. In the Atlantic, the US Gulf in particular suffered with little excitement pushing rates down further. A 63,000dwt was heard to have been fixed from SW Pass for trip to NC South America at $12,500. From the south Atlantic a 62,000dwt was heard to have been fixed for delivery EC South America for a trip to China at $16,500 plus $650,000. However that said, there seemed to be a little more interest from the Continent/Mediterranean a 57,000dwt was heard fixed at a price of $16,500 plus $185,000 hold cleaning for a cement run from the east Mediterranean to US East Coast. Like the larger sizes, the sector saw a relatively slow market in Asia, an Ultramax open north China was heard fixed for a NoPac round at $14,500. Further south, a 63,500dwt open south China fixed a trip via Indonesia redelivery China in the mid $12,000s. From the Indian Ocean, again rates remained under negative pressure a 56,000dwt fixing delivery South Africa for a trip to WC India at $18,000 plus $180,000 ballast bonus.   


In a week punctuated with holidays, visible activity was muted and negative sentiment shrouded the Handysize market in both basins. Across the Continent and the Mediterranean, levels remained stable, with a 28,000dwt fixing from Casablanca to Koper in the low teens with a cargo of fertilizer and some premium business loading in the Russian Baltic also rumored to have been fixed on 33,000dwt in the low $20,000’s to West Africa but further details were not yet available. In the south Atlantic, despite a lack of prompt enquiry, sources expected the market to improve for the second part of April with a 38,000dwt fixing from Itaqui to Singapore-Japan at $20,000 for mid-April loading.  The US Gulf continued to see pressure on prompt tonnage with a 38,000dwt fixed from Mobile to the UK-Continent with a cargo of pellets at $8,500. With holidays in China, a subdued feeling was visible with a 26,000dwt linked to fixing from Caofeidian to South East Asia at $8,500. 



In the MEG this week LR2 freight lost steam as tonnage availability outstripped demand. The TC1 rate for 75kt MEG/Japan came down 37 points to WS194 and the 90kt MEG/UK-Continent TC20 voyage similarly went from $6.22 million to $5.68 million.  

West of Suez, Mediterranean/East LR2’s held stable around the $4.25 million level (for the albeit short week). 


In the MEG, LR’1 freight has also dropped this week. The 55kt MEG/Japan index of TC5 lost 10% of its value down to WS233. The 65kt MEG/UK-Continent of TC8 came off $256,000 to $4.69 million.

On the UK-Continent, the 60kt ARA/West Africa remained flat around the WS200 mark all week.


MR’s in the MEG saw enough activity to keep freight levels from really moving this week. TC17 35kt MEG/East Africa dipped five points from WS311 to WS306. The Baltic TCE for the run is still over the $30,000 per day round trip.

On the UK-Continent MR’s managed to resist downward pressure this week. The 37kt ARA/US-Atlantic coast of TC2 came down a modest single point to WS199. On a TC19 run (37kt ARA/West Africa) the index managed to climb ten points to WS230 after a widely reported market fixture around this level.  

A week of downs for the USG MR’s over the last few days. TC14 (38kt US-Gulf/UK-Continent) shed 18 points down to WS206. The 38kt US Gulf/Brazil on TC18 went from WS311 to WS295 and the 38kt US-Gulf/Caribbean of TC21 managed to hold on over the $1 million level at around $1.1 million all week. 


In the Mediterranean, 30kt Cross Mediterranean (TC6) had a 33 point chunk taken out of it to land at WS253.   

Up in north west Europe, the TC23 30kt Cross UK-Continent remained sedate around the WS217.5 level. 


The market was relatively static over the past week with the rate for 270,000 mt Middle East Gulf to China meagerly rising half a point to WS65.40 which corresponds to a daily round-trip TCE of $41,729 basis the Baltic Exchange’s vessel description.

Meanwhile, in the Atlantic market, the 260,000 mt West Africa/China route softened one point to WS65.72 showing a round voyage TCE of $42,479 per day. The rate for 270,000 mt US Gulf/China dropped $229,444 since last Thursday to $8,515,000 providing a round-trip daily TCE of $40,328.


The Suezmax market in West Africa was quiet this week, but support for owners came from the improving US Gulf and Caribbean export market. For the 130,000 mt Nigeria/UK Continent voyage rates fell by four points to WS106.22 (a daily round-trip TCE of $39,012). In the Mediterranean and Black Sea region rates remained flat, hovering just above WS109 for 135,000 mt CPC/Mediterranean trip (showing a daily TCE of a little over $37,000 round-trip). In the Middle East, the rate for 140,000 mt Middle East Gulf to the Mediterranean (via the Suez Canal) was assessed two points firmer at just below WS100.


In the North Sea, the rate for the 80,000 mt Cross-UK Continent slipped five points to WS131.79 (a daily round-trip TCE of $30,850 basis Hound Point to Wilhelmshaven).

In the Mediterranean market the rate for 80,000 mt Cross-Mediterranean has improved by three points to WS167.67 (basis Ceyhan to Lavera, that shows a daily round trip TCE of $46,130).

Across the Atlantic, the Stateside market has had a reversal of fortunes with the rate for 70,000 mt east coast Mexico/US Gulf (TD26) climbing ten points to WS145.31 (a daily TCE of $26,588 round trip) and the rate for 70,000 mt Covenas/US Gulf (TD9) rose six points to just shy of WS140 (a round-trip TCE of close to $24,000 per day). The rate for the trans-Atlantic route of 70,000 mt US Gulf/UK Continent (TD25) recovered 28 points to WS175.56 (a round trip TCE basis Houston/Rotterdam of $39,008 per day).


After the Easter break there was a slow start to the LNG market this week with enquiries focused mainly on optimization and tonnage availability, with relatively healthy the rates there was little movement across both ship sizes. BLNG1 Aus-Japan for the 170cbm lost a few hundred dollars to finish at $47,296 while the 160cbm gained just over a hundred dollars to finish at $30,866 keeping the delta around $17,000-20,000.

BLNG2 US-Continent lost for both ships with little fresh enquiry and a short week this was expected, the 174cbm fell to a close of $45,288 while the 160cbm finished $34,212 a tightening of the delta we have seen of late but in line with market expectations. For BLNG3 US-Japan the 160cbm fared worse than the larger more eco ships losing $2,492 on the week to finish at $41,405 while the 174cbm fell to $53,304 a drop of $1,253. The LNG spot market is very seasonal, and the current season is waiting for a fresh injection of activity to see any movement up or down, brokers are reporting that we are at the lower end of the barrel and rates ought to rise rather than fall, but it’s never a certainty with LNG.

Period was flat with little movement on all three periods, the 6-months lost a little to $62,600 while 1-year terms rose to $77,133 and 3-year deals fell a tiny amount to $80,400. 


Not a lot to report coming out of the Middle Eastern Gulf this week, BLPG1 Ras Tanura-Chiba languished a little with few fixtures and a longer tonnage list, but with many ships showing either in West or Eastern lists the tonnage could thin out. Rates themselves were a little soft after the Bank Holiday weekend and BLPG1 fell by $1.429 to a close of $64.714 and a daily TCE earning equivalent of $43,536.

The US market fared better with positive gains, however modest, across both routes. There are cargoes showing with May dates already suggesting April is all but finished, which could push rates down while there is a lull in activity. BLPG2 Houston-Flushing moved up by $2.6 to finish at $67.2 with a daily TCE earning of $65,817 while BLPG3 Houston-Chiba rose by $4.285 to finish at $124.714 and a TCE equivalent of $49,594.

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 070423 050424.png

Chart shows Baltic Dry Index (BDI) during April 7, 2023 to April 5, 2024

BFABDI_C-FFA 050124 161125.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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