“Nervousness” has set into the freight market, sending the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) to fall off the 1,000 point mark again.

Pan Ocean has reported a 55% year-on-year plunge in first quarter profit despite a rise in revenue, due mainly to the absence of a one-off gain recorded for the year-ago period.

It is hard to break the chain-links between the dry bulk markets from the general health of China’s economy. In common with a lower China Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) seen in April, the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) has stumbled to the current level of 1,000 from the 1,100 points last month.

The shine came off the commodities rebound this week, as the price of iron ore fell 4% on Wednesday (from a high above $90 per tonne this month) as traders anticipated a reduction of Chinese steel demand.

After a rocky start, the freight market has set off for a campaign of recovering lost ground in 2017, in the process regaining some of the glory seen in the latter half of 2016.

After an optimistic start during the first week of 2017, the freight rates seem to slip into its old self again recording a string of losses this week. Suddenly, the feeling of uncertainly began to creep into the market, raising doubts if the rate corrections are going to be a norm or just another part of the seasonal lull?

Despite a 20% fall in the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) in November the Singapore Exchange (SGX) says a “sense of cautious optimism” remains about the outlook for the market in 2017.

Dry bulk shipowners need to accelerate the scrapping of older tonnage from the second half of 2016 to see continued recovery in the sector.

The freight has ended the year of 2016 with its head held high, chest up and letting off a sigh of relief. The worst has been over and the market has showed its resilience by bouncing back from the nadir. Does the new year of 2017 offers further recovery or rather just more backslidings from all the hard-earned gains made in 2016?

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) – together with its capesize and panamax components - has pulled off an astounding comeback in 2016. From the BDI’s historical low of 290 points in February to the current 900-1000 levels, the index has truly made a dramatic zero–to-hero transition.

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