THE BALTIC Dry Index increased to 1815 on Friday 31 May, returning to a similar level seen in the previous week.

The Baltic Dry Index for the week ending Friday 31 May 2024. Source: Baltic Exchange


After a slow start due to a UK Bank Holiday, the market quickly regained momentum. The Pacific was notably active, with all three major miners actively fixing throughout the week. Initially rates struggled to gain traction as brokers reported an oversupply of early vessels. However, towards the latter part of the week, the Pacific benefited from an uptick in coal cargoes from Indonesia and East Coast Australia, and operator activity, driving freight rates higher, as a result the C5 index rose by US$1.15 this week, closing at US$11.135.

Early in the week, activity in the Atlantic was limited, but a tightening of tonnage was noted in the North. Midweek saw positive sentiment bolstered by increased fresh cargoes and strong fronthaul fixtures from East Coast Canada to China, leading to substantial gains in the C9 index, which climbed US$3,129 on the week, closing at US$48,563.

The South Brazil and West Africa to China routes experienced downward pressure due to an abundance of ballasting vessels, however, towards the end of the week some marginal gains were made. The week concluded positively, with the BCI 5TC increasing by US$581 to close at US$23,389.


It proved to be a negative week for the Panamax market with rates easing across the board. The Atlantic remained predominantly fronthaul led with a steady grain cargo flow ex NC South America, continuing the recent theme of decent mineral demand ex US east coast to India, reports circulated mid-week of an 81,000-dwt delivery Gibraltar at US$25,100 for said run. However, with an easing trans-Atlantic market the plentiful ships available in the North came under pressure with reduced rates appearing, with no obvious signs of any floor.

In Asia, sound volume of mineral demand ex Australia along with NoPac grains kept rates steady, but with South America not offering much support seeds of doubt were experienced across the basin. An 82,000-dwt delivery South Korea was able to achieve US$17,250 for a trip via Australia redelivery China, whilst ex Indonesia an 81,500-dwt delivery Thailand agreed a shade below US$18,000 for a trip via Indonesia redelivery South Korea.


Another rather lackluster week as many areas saw little fresh enquiry compounding a rather dull market. The Atlantic saw limited opportunities from the Continent-Mediterranean, elsewhere the South Atlantic similarly saw little action. Despite little fixing information emerging some felt that a bottom may have been reached from the US Gulf as the week closed.

A similar story from the Asian arena with lower cargo flows also affecting timecharter rates. In the Atlantic, A 51,000-dwt open Ireland was fixed for a trip via Russian Baltic to South Brazil at US$14,000. Otherwise, a 61,000-dwt fixed delivery Recalada for a trip to West Africa at US$18,000. In Asia, a 55,000-dwt open South China fixed a trip via Indonesia redelivery EC India in the low US$15,000s and a 58,000-dwt open Taiwan fixed a trip via Indonesia to China in the low US$16,000s.

The Indian Ocean remained active although again sentiment remained poor, a 61,000-dwt fixed delivery Port Elizabeth trip to China at US$21,000 plus US$210,000 ballast bonus.


In a week of limited visible activity, a feeling of positivity was seen in sections of the handy sector. The South Atlantic began in a positive fashion, with adequate cargo availability, with a 38,000-dwt fixing from Recalada to Denmark with an intended cargo of grains at US$19,250 but as the week progressed, levels of fresh enquiry slowed and numbers were said to have stabilized. The Continent and Mediterranean continued to struggle for cargo availability, and a 33,000-dwt fixed for a trip from North France to West Africa intention Abidjan with an intended cargo of grains at US$8,750.

The Pacific markets remained positive with fresh enquiry visible from Australia, Indonesia, China and the Pacific North West. A 38,000-dwt opening in Manzanillo was fixed for a trip to Singapore-Japan in the mid teens whilst a 37,000-dwt was fixed from Chilie to Singapore-Japan at around US$17,000 but further details had yet to surface.



MEG LR2’s saw freight levels fall off again this week. The TC1 rate for 75kt MEG/Japan sunk 30 points to WS240.56 and the 90kt MEG/UK-Continent TC20 voyage went from US$7.79 million to US$6.8 million.

West of Suez, Mediterranean/East LR2’s improved for the second week on week. The TC15 index jumped up US$429,000 to US$4.08 million.


In the MEG, LR1 freight also took some downward pressure. The 55kt MEG/Japan index of TC5 went from WS293.75 to WS265. The 65kt MEG/UK-Continent of TC8 shed US$635,000 to US$5.34 million.

On the UK-Continent, a 60kt ARA/West Africa run on TC16 shot up 17 points to WS173.89.


MR’s in the MEG were also down significantly this week. The TC17 35kt MEG/East Africa is marked at WS380, down 34.29 points, following a Thursday reported fixture at this level. 

On the UK-Continent MR’s made a welcome resurgence this week. The 37kt ARA/US-Atlantic coast of TC2 got back up above the WS200 mark to WS201.88 (+23.44) tanking the Baltic TCE up to US$24,203 per day round trip. The TC19 run (37kt ARA/West Africa) the index also went from WS199.06 to WS225.63.   

USG MR’s stole the show this week with a serious flurry of prompt enquiry driving the market upwards. TC14 (38kt US-Gulf/UK-Continent) shot up 103.21 points to WS245. The 38kt US Gulf/Brazil on TC18 similarly added 99.29 points to WS315. The 38kt US-Gulf/Caribbean of TC21 jacked up 141%, an increase of 882,000 to US$1.51 million, with higher numbers for the run reported on subjects at time of writing.


In the Mediterranean, 30kt Cross Mediterranean (TC6) improved 58.11 points this week to reach WS285 and them level off there for the moment.  

Up in North West Europe, the TC23 30kt Cross UK-Continent improved a modest 4.17 points to WS225 where it also looks to have plateaued for the moment.


The VLCC market continued a downward trend this week with the rate for the benchmark 270,000 mt Middle East Gulf to China falling 10 points to WS57.70 which provides a daily round-trip TCE of US$35.305 basis the Baltic Exchange’s vessel description.

In the Atlantic market a similar situation was apparent. The 260,000 mt West Africa/China was also weakened by 10 points to WS60.22 showing a round voyage TCE of US$38,450 per day, and the rate for 270,000 mt US Gulf/China fell by US$480,000 to US$8,925,000 corresponding to a round-trip daily TCE of US$45,583.


The Suezmax market in West Africa took an upward turn this week, helped by an improving US Gulf and Caribbean market. The rate for 130,000 mt Nigeria/UK Continent trip rose 4 points to WS114.89 (a daily round-trip TCE of US$46,294). In the Mediterranean and Black Sea region the rate gained a meagre point to WS124 for the 135,000 mt CPC/Mediterranean trip (showing a daily TCE of US$50,833 round-trip). In the Middle East, the rate for 140,000 mt Middle East Gulf to the Mediterranean (via the Suez Canal) gained five points to WS103.72.