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AMIS Market Monitor

last release: May 2018

Ocean freights

Dry bulk freight markets displayed two-sided trends in April, with sentiment shaped by the largest carrying vessels. Despite recent solid gains, which lifted the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) to its highest since early 2018, average values were weaker m/m.

A generally weaker tone prevailed in the Panamax segment, with reduced inquiry levels weighing on rates at most origins, including the US Gulf and South America. While a build-up of tonnage in the Atlantic added to the negative tone, downside was capped by brisk period interest and buoyant mineral business in the Pacific. 

Coal and mineral demand in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean supported smaller carrying sectors, although values were mixed. Supramax rates were weaker, pressured by sluggish activity, notably at the US Gulf and the North Pacific, with icy conditions in the Baltic a notable factor. Handysize values mostly eased during the period, although average rates were up fractionally m/m, with charterers said to be busy at the US Gulf and in South America. Support came from sustained scrap demand in Europe and cement/clinker enquiry in the Mediterranean, coupled with steady grain flows out of the Black Sea.