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Baltic indices show big boost (and it’s no April fool)

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) today advanced by 21 points to 450, the biggest daily increase posted since September 17, 2015.

Big increases were also seen in the Baltic indices for panamax and capesize bulk carriers, while the handysize and supramax markets stayed static. The period market also saw a brace of panamax fixtures.

The capesize market showed the most sudden and dramatic improvement, with the Baltic Capesize Index (BCI) climbing 75 points to 345 today, its highest level since January 8.

Spot rates were up on all capesize benchmark routes, enabling the BCI’s weighted timecharter average (TCA) rate to climb by $495 since yesterday to $3,013 per day today.

Rates for trans-Atlantic voyages from Gibraltar/Hamburg (C8_14) firmed the most today and were assessed at $2,660 per day, up $815 on Thursday’s level.

On the major iron ore routes, there were nine reported capesize fixtures ex-Western Australia today, and only three from Brazil, which was reflected in rates.

Rates on the Tubarao to Qingdao (C3) run grew by $0.286 to $6.345 per ton, based on 160,000- to 170,000-ton cargoes. This was more than twice the growth seen on the Western Australia to Qingdao (C5) route, which advanced $0.103 to reach $3.332 per ton, based on the same volume of cargo.

For panamaxes, the Baltic Panamax Index (BPI) is up by 34 points today and was assessed at 535 points, thanks to a spot chartering bonanza, with most fixtures for cargoes out of East Coast South America and Brazil.

The weighted TCA rate for four benchmark panamax routes was assessed at $4,275 per day, up $267 on Thursday’s rate.

Rates for trips from Skaw/Gibraltar to Taiwan/Japan (P2A_03) showed the biggest improvement and were today assessed at $8,150 per day, a $662 increase. Trans-Atlantic voyages also did well, reaching $4,477 per day today, up by $304.

Two panamax fixtures were reported in the period market today. Hong Kong’s Grace Ocean Investment has reportedly fixed Nord Destiny (83,684 dwt, built 2008) to Cargill for four to eight months at $5,200 daily. The vessel will deliver promptly in southern China.

Louis Dreyfus is reported to have booked Greek owner Angelakos’ panamax Scythia Graeca (74,133 dwt, built 2002) on a four- to seven-month period charter for $5,500 daily plus a $150,000 ballast bonus. The ship will deliver in Durban between April 4-7.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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