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AMIS Market Monitor

last release: September 2018

Ocean freights

The dry bulk freight market was moderately firmer in August, with the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) averaging 5 percent higher m/m, a fourth consecutive monthly gain. Initial strength was tied to Capesize advances, while an upturn in the grains and oilseeds carrying segments underpinned more recently. Reflecting improved market fundamentals, the BDI was well above its level of a year ago and up six-fold from the all-time low of early 2016.

Panamax rates were slightly softer compared to July. Early losses stemmed from sluggishness in the Atlantic and excess vessel availability in the north Pacific, which countered support from fresh business in Indonesia and sustained fertiliser trade in Europe. The subsequent reversal was mainly triggered by strengthening interest in coal and minerals in Southeast Asia, as well as grains and oilseeds fixings at the US Gulf and in South America. 

Sentiment in Supramax and Handysize sectors was thinly mixed. Buoyant demand for grains shipments from the Black Sea, including for Atlantic and Asia-bound routes, boosted rates in the former segment, while activity at the US Gulf was a positive influence at times. Decent enquiry levels in Europe, mostly from scrap and fertiliser charterers, and shortages of nearby tonnage provided additional support.