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AMIS Market Monitor

last release: Mar 2018

Ocean freights

Dry bulk freight rates were typically volatile in February, as choppy trading ahead of Asian New Year holidays triggered two-sided movements in the Baltic Dry Index (BDI). Pressured by losses across all constituent segments, average BDI values declined by 11 percent m/m, but remained much higher than a year ago.

Earnings in the grains and oilseeds carrying segments also posted moderate losses. The Panamax market initially found support from sustained activity at the US Gulf, South America and the North Pacific, but rates slid in the first half of February on softer grains business at major origins and heavier tonnage supply in the Atlantic. Losses were partly reversed in recent days, as trading at the US Gulf picked up again.

Supramax and Handysize Baltic sub-Indices dropped by 6 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Declines were mainly tied to a sluggish tone in the EU and the Baltic, barring scrap dispatches, with logistics at ports in the latter area impacted by icy conditions. However, fresh business at the US Gulf offered support.