THE BALTIC Dry Index declined during the first half of the week before an uptick on Thursday and Friday.

The index ended the week at 1503 on Friday (19 January).

The Baltic Dry Index for the week ending 19 January 2024. Source: Baltic Exchange


The capesize market experienced a varied week with distinct developments in both the Pacific and Atlantic regions. At the start of the week, a lacklustre trend prevailed as the Pacific faced downward pressure, resulting in a 20-cent decline on C5. The Atlantic exhibited restrained activity with a decline in sentiment.

Tuesday saw a slight increase in coal enquiry from East Coast Australia, but with a healthy tonnage list limited potential upside, maintaining a flat C5 market. Mid-week, there was a sense of stabilization in the Pacific as fixtures were concluded at last done levels, and weather conditions in Chinese ports impacted by fog added an element of uncertainty.

The Atlantic experienced increased activity, influenced by Japanese fronthaul tenders, while trans-Atlantic routes faced downward pressure. Thursday marked a notably active day with an improvement in market sentiment, leading to rate increases on C5. The positive momentum extended to the Atlantic, driven by positional factors, resulting in a busy and positive day.

As the week draws to a close the level of activity has slowed in the Pacific, nevertheless, the market has continued its upward trajectory, marked by a further 60-cent rise on C5. The Atlantic market wraps up the week on a positive note, with prevailing bullish sentiment evident in the BCI 5TC, which records a robust increase of US$3,243, culminating in a week-ending value of US$18,608.


A week of gains for the Panamax market as a build-up in activity from South Atlantic came to the fore once again, with South America absorbing tonnage demand worldwide, in turn adding support to markets elsewhere.

The Atlantic was described as largely grain centric, better levels reflected on the front haul routes with several NC South America front haul deals reported basis delivery Aps load port, rates ranging from US$18,000+US$800,000 to US$18,750+US$875,000 ballast bonus whilst an 82,000-dwt fixed delivery West Mediterranean for a trip via NC South America redelivery China at US$24,000.

In Asia, a mixed week with the draw from EC South America enticing some owners to consider the ballast option as Indonesia and Australia returned an underwhelming week. Further north, strong grain demand ex NoPac helped support rates here, with US$12,000 rumoured fixed a couple of times on BPI82 types. Period interest improved, with an 82,000-dwt delivery China agreeing around US$16,000 basis 8/10 months.


A mixed week for the sector. In the Atlantic downward movement was seen from the US Gulf with lower enquiry rates eased, from South America some said as the week closed there seemed to be more enquiry for February dates, which indicated a bottom may have been reached.

From the Pacific, whilst in the South sentiment remained rather poor with little fresh enquiry from Indonesia, the North saw increased demand from both the NoPac and more backhaul demand saw rates stabilise. Period activity increased, a 63,000-dwt open North China fixing four to six months trading at US$14,500.

In the Atlantic, a 63,000-dwt was heard to have been fixed from the US Gulf for a fronthaul around US$23,000. Elsewhere, a 64,000-dwt was fixed from EC South America to Spain at US$18,000.

In Asia, a 56,000-dwt fixed basis delivery passing Taiwan trip via Indonesia redelivery China at US$8,650. Whilst another 56,000-dwt fixed delivery Surabaya trip via Indonesia redelivery Bangladesh at US$11,000. Better levels were seen from South Africa, with a 61,000-dwt fixing delivery Port Elizabeth redelivery EC India at US$20,000 plus US$200,000 ballast bonus.


The first glimmers of positivity were seen in the Atlantic as lists of open tonnage reduced. On the Continent there was a flurry of activity for grains ex France with a 36,000-dwt fixing from Rouen to Morocco at US$8,500 one of several fixtures.

In the Mediterranean, activity was more subdued, but a 34,000-dwt fixed from Alexandria via the Black Sea to Morocco at a rate of around US$9,750. In the US, a 35,000-dwt fixed from Savannah to UK-Continent with wood pellets at US$19,000 whilst a 35,000-dwt fixed from Lake Charles to Tukey at US$18,000 with grains.

The South Atlantic was also said to be turning with a 38,000-dwt fixing from Campana to Algeria with grains at US$15,000.

Southeast Asia was also more active with a 35,000-dwt fixing from Singapore via Australia to South Korea at US$8,000. Further North enquiry was said to be limited as a 32,000-dwt fixed from CJK via China to EC India at US$10,100.



LR’s in the MEG have strengthened this week. The 75kt MEG/Japan TC1 index rose about 48 points to WS200.56 (US$49,522 / day TCE round-trip). The 90kt MEG/UK-Continent TC20 run significantly improved, not least of all by the well reported problems in the Red Sea, rising US$537,000 week-on-week to a shade over US$5 million.

In the West of Suez market however, the Mediterranean/East trip on LR2’s (TC15) dropped US$87,500 to be last assessed at just over US$4.27 million despite the problems with transiting the Red Sea.


In the MEG, LR1 freight levels followed the sentiment of the bigger units. The rate for 55kt MEG/Japan (TC5) climbed 62 points to WS254.38 (a daily TCE of US$46,392 / day round-trip). For the 65kt MEG/UK-Continent (TC8) market, the rate has risen nearly US$400,000 to US$4.3-4.4 million level.

On the UK-Continent, the 60kt ARA/West Africa (TC16) market dropped about 2.5 points to just under WS180 (which translates to a round trip daily TCE of about US$33,500).


MRs in the MEG made further gains this week with the 35kt MEG/East Africa (TC17) trip rising 21 points to WS301.43 (a TCE of US$34,316 / day round trip).

UK-Continent MRs made significant improvements with the 37kt ARA/US-Atlantic coast of TC2 gaining 70 points to WS190.89 (a round trip TCE of US$22,147 / day). Similarly, TC19 (37kt ARA/West Africa) rose 77 points to be marked between the WS225-227.5 level (a TCE of just shy of US$29,000 / day round-trip)

The USG MR market was weaker. TC14 (38kt US-Gulf/UK-Continent) has lost about five points to WS166.79 (a daily round-trip TCE of just over US$18,300). The 38kt US Gulf/Brazil on TC18 also receded by 3.5 points to be assessed at a shade under WS220 (about US$27,700 / day for the round-trip TCE) and for the 38kt US-Gulf/Caribbean TC21 trip the rate has shed a about US$42,000 to just over US$675,000 (a daily round-trip TCE of close to US$21,300).


In the Mediterranean, Handymax’s had a slight upturn this week with TC6 improving by 9.5 points to WS205.06, which corresponds to a daily TCE of US$27,790 basis a round trip voyage from Skikda to Lavera.

In North West Europe, the TC23 30kt Cross UK-Continent route greatly improved by 82.5 points to WS218.06 (a daily round-trip TCE of US$27,834 basis a voyage from Amsterdam to Le Havre).



Please note that TCE references below are based on the revised details, updated on 15th January 2024 and available on the website.


The market weakened this week with the 270,000 mt Middle East Gulf to China route losing 3.5 points to WS66.29, which translates into a daily round-trip TCE of US$44,420 basis the Baltic Exchange’s vessel description.

In the Atlantic market, where a stepper drop occurred, the rate for 260,000 mt West Africa/China lost eight points to WS66.60 (which shows a round voyage TCE of US$45,738 / day) while the rate for 270,000 mt US Gulf/China shed US$627,777 to US$9,555,556 (which provides a round-trip daily TCE of US$51,078).


Suezmaxes in West Africa have had another steady week, with rates overall for 130,000 mt Nigeria/UK-Continent route gaining only two points to WS143.41 (a daily round-trip TCE of US$63,637). In the Mediterranean and Black Sea region the rate for 135,000 mt CPC/Med route has remained flat at around the WS145 level (showing a daily TCE of US$68,873 round-trip). In the Middle East, the rate for 140,000 mt Middle East Gulf to the Mediterranean gained 30 points to WS120.50 on the back of the widely reported increased risks in the Red Sea.


In the North Sea, the rate for the 80,000 mt Cross-UK-Continent route is marginally softer, easing two points to WS183.57 (showing a round-trip daily TCE of US$74,751 basis Hound Point to Wilhelmshaven).

In the Mediterranean market the rate for 80,000 mt Cross-Mediterranean has increased by 22 points to WS211 (basis Ceyhan to Lavera, that shows a daily round trip TCE of US$71,568).

On the other side of the Atlantic, the market rose significantly early on, peaked mid-week and is falling back now. The rate for 70,000 mt East Coast Mexico/US Gulf (TD26) has peaked at WS425 and has now fallen to WS386.25 (a daily round-trip TCE of US$137,043), which is still a week-on-week gain of 39 points. For the 70,000 mt Covenas/US Gulf trip the rate climbed to WS402.5 and has since fallen to WS367.81 (a round-trip TCE of US$115,193 / day), a weekly rise of about 40 points. The rate for the trans-Atlantic route of 70,000 mt US Gulf/UK-Continent surged to almost WS290 and has since dropped to WS236.88 (a round trip TCE basis Houston/Rotterdam of US$63,147 / day), a drop of 48 points since last Friday.


A quiet week again with one stand out fixture mid-week, which drove the downward direction of the index. Reports of a 2-Stroke being put on subs for February dates in the mid US$50,000s saw the final publication of the week reach those levels for BLNG2. This meant the TFDE 160cbm ships fell as well keeping their usual differential, one ever so slightly diminished with such light activity. Overall fixing from the East has been quiet, but some enquiry ex-Australia has given some life to an otherwise dull market.

Rates for the 2-Stroke 174cbm fell across all three routes, with BLNG1-174g closing at US$59,853 – a fall of US$9,388 – while the TFDE 160cbm BLNG1g dropped US$5,755 to close at US$41,796. Out in the Atlantic BLNG2 Houston-Continent closed at US$52,816 for the 2-Stroke 174cbm, which was very near a reported fixture from Wednesday. The 160 TFDE rate fell to a low of US$39,539 on Houston-Continent. Meanwhile BLNG3 Houston-Japan finished better with the smallest fall of the three routes for the week; with a close of US$62,549 on the 174cbm, and US$48,408 for 160cbm ships there was still negative movement overall.

The period has continued its downward trajectory with some brokers warning of bigger drops to come. For 6-months the Baltic assessment fell by US$6,700 to US$60,800, 1-Year dropped to US$86,900 and 3-Years published at US$91,300.


Further falls on the LPG market this week meant we saw low levels not seen since 24th January 2023 and within this year alone we have seen BLPG1 lose US$78.429 (57.857%) of its value a huge correction in such a short period. BLPG1 Ras Tanura-Chiba fell US$24.714 to close at US$57.857 giving a TCE of US$37,877, a nearly 50% drop from the end of last week. There aren’t many cargoes working currently while charterers await Aramco dates but once they do come to market with such quiet fixing over the last few weeks plentiful ships await to fulfil the order, so rates won’t be much bolstered.

The US market hasn’t fared much better, a total of US$120.714 lost from 2nd January (54%) on BLPG3. This week alone a drop of US$23.572 was shaved off to give a final publication of US$102.857 and a daily TCE earning of US$40,303. Continued issues of transit via the Panama Canal and now of course increased troubles in the Red Sea has given owners a fair bit of headache as they try to confirm cargoes. BLPG2 was very quiet overall with little to no fixtures, and a drop of US$20 to give a close price of US$60.4 and daily TCE of US$59,053. Looking ahead, this movement doesn’t hold much hope of any significant rises in the coming week.