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Panamaxes help Baltic Dry Index end its record-breaking rout

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) today advanced by 1 point to reach 291 points, the first time the index has shown growth since December 24.

Panamaxes helped the index find its feet, thanks to busy chartering activity in the Atlantic basin, especially for cargoes loading in East Coast South America (ECSA). The market is enlivening slowly as China reaches the end of its Lunar New Year celebrations. Today’s Baltic Panamax Index (BPI) was assessed at 324 points, up 12 from Thursday’s level.

Tonnage has been so tight for panamaxes loading in ECSA that the market has seen a number of deals with healthy ballast bonuses attached, which reached a peak level today. An unnamed charterer paid the highest ballast bonus seen this week, $175,000, when it booked Safe Bulkers’ panamax Kypros Loyalty (77,078 dwt, built 2015) to carry grains on a trip from ECSA to Singapore-Japan at a daily rate of $6,750.

Hadley Shipping’s Clymene (73,600 dwt, built 2006) has a $135,000 ballast bonus attached to its fixture to Norden, which is today reported to have booked the panamax for a trip from Santos in Brazil to Singapore-Japan for $6,450 daily. 

The capesize period market today saw a duo of index-linked charters, the first seen in a while as owners and charterers strike a compromise while faced with rock-bottom rates. Still, it’s a gamble for shipowners if the market moves lower in coming months.

Olympic Shipping and Management’s brand-new capesize Olympic Harmony (180,000 dwt, built 2016) – or its sistership Olympic Hope (182,000 dwt, built 2016) – has been fixed to Sinochart on a 12-month period charter, commencing when the ship is delivered from the Japan Marine United shipyard in April. The charter was fixed at 119.5% of Cape 5TC per day (the weighted timecharter average of the five main capesize benchmark routes), with a $3,000 floor. Today’s Cape 5TC was assessed at $2,698 per day. 

Similarly, Orion Bulkers’ capesize Hero (178,076 dwt, built 2010) was fixed by an unnamed charterer for six to eight months at a daily rate of 105% of the Cape 4TC weighted timecharter average.

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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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