The market saw a steep ascent from the depths of last week. The Baltic Capesize Index (BCI) 5TC opened on Monday at $5,099, although by Friday’s close most gains were lost, and it finished up at $5,737, a modest gain of $638. Improved sentiment stemmed from Atlantic-tightness combined with an open Colombia coal arbitrage. This in turn provided an influx of fronthaul cargo with minimal candidates, a much-needed injection in recent market times. The improved sentiment lent itself to escalations in the Pacific market. This led to West Australia to China iron ore cargoes lifting from $4.60 per metric ton (pmt) to above $5.00. The week ended on a wimper as the Pacific remained firm to holding, while the Atlantic rates and sentiment softened as the arbitrage closed. The ice premium season is also coming to an end at the beginning of May.


An uneventful week started very slowly in the Pacific, partly due to Coaltrans in Shanghai. Despite increased activity in the second half of the week, spot rates have drifted lower. Coal into India remained the main driving force, with more grains from the North Pacific also evident, but the tonnage profile remained in Charterers favour. There has been increased period activity, with several modern Kamsarmaxes fixed for five to eight months around $11,500. Two new buildings agreed index-linked deals, with an $11,000 floor plus profit share for two years apiece. Several similar ships concluded on one year deals too and it appeared to be the same Charterers taking multiple ships in each case. In the Atlantic, fronthaul grains continued to support the market with a constant flow of fixtures being reported, although rates again softened slightly during the week. Sources suggested tonnage on the North Continent had tightened, but this hadn’t yet been reflected in reported trades.


The Baltic Supramax Index (BSI) continued its downward trend during the week, however, some areas showed more resilience than others. Period activity remained subdued, but a 58,000dwt vessel open Dubai was fixed for a short period at $11,500. From the Atlantic the only bright area was East Coast South America, with transatlantic runs seemingly at healthier levels. A 57,000dwt ship concluded delivery Recalada trip to Algeria at $17,000. Otherwise fresh enquiry lacked impetus, especially from the Continent-Mediterranean, with 53,000-tonner fixed delivery central Mediterranean, redelivery Arabian Gulf, at $11,000. In Asia, a similar situation saw a build-up of tonnage in the north. From Southeast Asia it was finely balanced. A 56,000dwt vessel, open Singapore, fixed a trip redelivery India with sands, at $9,000s. The Indian Ocean was active, however rates remained steady. A 55,000dwt ship fixed delivery Port Elizabeth, redelivery Far East, at $11,400 plus $140,000 ballast bonus.


A week of continuous falls in both the Atlantic and Asian markets. Negative sentiment was evident and gained pace throughout the week. A 34,000-tonner open Veracruz was fixed basis Southwest Pass for moving petcoke to Mexico at $6,500. A similar sized vessel, open Savannah, was fixed for moving grain to Ireland at $6,000 with the same delivery. From East Coast South America, a 35,000dwt ship was paid $14,000 for delivery Recalada to Australia, and a 31,000dwt vessel was booked at $10,500 from Praia Mole to Rio Grande for a coastal run. A trip from the Black Sea to Otranto paid approximately $6,000 on a 35,000dwt ship, basis delivery Canakkale, and at low $5,000s level for a trip to East Coast South America with a steel cargo on a 37,000dwt vessel. From Asia little was reported and again rates remained under negative pressure, with a lack of fresh enquiry.


TANKER REPORT - 12 April 2019


The market in the Middle East Gulf bottomed out and after WS 36 was agreed for 270,000mt to Singapore, Unipec fixed to China at WS 39, up 1.5 points from last week. SPC took two Maran ships to Singapore and China, both at WS 39.25. Going west, rates for 280,000mt to the US Gulf were assessed 0.75 points higher at around WS 19.75 Cape to Cape. In West Africa, rates for 260,000mt initially held at around WS 41 before Maran tonnage fixed at WS 43 with CNOOC. From Mexico, HOB paid $4.775 million to Daesan and US Gulf to Korea went at $4.5 million.


There was healthy enquiry in West Africa, which saw rates for 130,000mt to Europe firm around 20 points. Exxon paid WS 77.5 to Europe and Cepsa agreed WS 75 for Spain. Black Sea rates similarly firmed with the market now at WS 95 for 135,000mt cargo, in contrast to WS 65/67 region a week ago.


In the Mediterranean, rates for 80,000mt from Ceyhan eased around 7.5 points, with UML fixing at WS 77.5. In Primorsk, the market for 100,000mt has been hovering in the low to mid WS 60s, with the latter paid on trips requiring short options. The 80,000mt cross-North Sea came under downward pressure, with Vitol able to fix WC Norway load at WS 80. The 70,000mt Caribs up-coast market was steady in the WS 75/77.5 region.


Rates for both 75,000mt and 55,000mt from the Middle East Gulf to Japan weakened modestly to WS 95 region. Increased enquiry saw the market for 37,000mt Continent to USAC firm from WS 145 at the end of last week to low WS 150s. The 38,000mt trade from the US Gulf to UKContinent fell 10 points to low WS 80s.