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Dry bulk FFA market: Baltic tests 1,100 level on increased cargoes

Baltic Dry Index (BDI) formed a new norm of staying above 1,000 points and even extended its gains toward the 1,100 mark this week.

By Wednesday, 29 May 2019, the BDI has broken into the 1,100 level, registering at 1,107 for the day. However, the BDI eased later toward the end of the week settling under 1,100.


More cargoes from Western Australia

The gains may have to do with the better Capesize freight rates from Western Australia where mining majors are seeking for vessels to do exports.

According to trade sources, most of the mining majors were seeking for Capesize vessels for loading on 10 June onward to mid-June period from Western Australia to China.

New fixtures were done at higher levels on Tuesday, which prompted a more bullish market outlook despite some easing of momentum seen later in the week.

Some shipowners were heard not to be concerned with the slight dip in rates as they anticipated more fixing over next week.

No impact from South Africa workers’ strike yet

South Africa’s countrywide port shutdown has offered little impact to the shipping market yet.

The workers union, Satawu had called for 48 hours strike from Tuesday onwards, bringing mariners working in the ports to seek for equal salary payment between white and black workers.

The Capesize paper market did not response to South African ports shutdown but was affected by the doldrums in the Atlantic market instead due to European holiday on Thursday.

By Wednesday, the Capesize 5 time charter average reached $13,163, up $580 on-day and up $920 since Monday’s rate at $12,243. Later, the charter average had a correction of $198 to $12,965 due to holidays in Europe.

No more long weekend blues for Panamax

Panamax paper market had a steady start in the week and the market quickly forgotten the post long weekend blues, thanks to a flurry of buying across the curve.

However, the uptrend in Panamax freight rates soon became tested as the European markets closed for Ascension Day and traded at a low of the day at $10,550 on Thursday.

July contracts also lost value and dropped from $11,000 to $10,500 by Thursday as the holiday came in full swing. Thus, the Panamax time charter average saw a small rise of $28 on-day to $10,740 on Thursday, up $294 since Monday.

The selling pressure was felt in the Supramax market as well due to thinner trading volume as some European trade participants celebrated the holidays. As such, Supramax time charter average dropped by $68 on-day to $8,556 on Thursday, while Handysize time charter average gained by $31 to $5,943.

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