Dry Bulk Market Commentary March 4-8, 2024

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Dry Bulk Market Commentary March 4-8, 2024

The downward trend in freight rates for river and sea transportation continues. The freight rates for 3,000-ton vessels from Azov to Marmara have decreased from last week's level of 36-37 USD/ton to 32-33 USD/ton this week. The rates for transportation from Rostov to Marmara also fell from around 39 USD/ton to 34-35 USD/ton. The route from Rostov to Mersin, which has been on a declining trend since the beginning of the year, has decreased from 65 USD/ton to 60-62 USD/ton.

In the conventional coaster market, the freight rates for 5,000-ton steel shipments from Novorossiysk to Marmara have remained steady at around 20-21 USD/ton, and the rates for wheat shipments have stayed at last week's levels of 22-23 USD/ton. Long waiting times in Novorossiysk and at the Turkish straits (sometimes up to 6 days) are leading to increases in freight rates in the Black Sea region.

The rates for 5,000-ton corn shipments from Reni or Izmail to Marmara have remained at 24-25 USD/ton this week. The transportation of a 6,000-ton high-stack sunflower meal from Izmail to Samsun was carried out at 32 USD/ton, which corresponds to a wheat equivalent of about 25-26 USD/ton. A 6,000-ton high-stack pellet shipment from Chernomorsk to Italy was contracted at 40 USD/ton, equivalent to a wheat price of 31 USD/ton.

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) saw a sharp rise in the last two days of the week, increasing from 2,203 points to 2,345 points. All tonnage categories contributed to this rise.

The Baltic Supramax Index (BSI) also increased, moving from 1,267 points to 1,318 points. The average daily earnings for Supramax vessels rose from 13,940 USD/day to 14,493 USD/day. Earnings for shipments from the Black Sea to the Far East increased from 25,725 USD/ton to 26,158 USD/ton, but the route from the Gulf of Mexico to the Far East saw a decline of about 2,000 USD/day, from 22,089 USD/day to 20,314 USD/day. The average earnings in Asia rose from 13,940 USD/day to 15,280 USD/day.

The Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI) continued its upward trend, increasing from 722 points to 762 points. The global average earnings for Handysize vessels reached from 13,005 USD/day to 13,714 USD/day. Daily earnings within the Mediterranean went from 12,000 USD/day to between 12,500-13,000 USD/day. Daily freight rates from South America to the Continent experienced a strong rise for the second week, moving from 15,472 USD/day to 17,397 USD/day. The average earnings in Asia continued to increase, going from 13,915 USD/day to 14,398 USD/day.

The ship sales market also saw significant activity. In the Ultramax segment, the 2011-built 61K DWT "Andromeda" was sold to Turkish buyers for just over 21 million USD. Chinese-built Ultramax vessels, the 2014-built "Eaubonne" sold for 23 million, the 2015-built "Syros Island" for 25.75 million, and the 2016-built "Andros Island" for 26.75 million USD.

In the Supramax segment, the 2012 and 2014 Philippine-built 58K DWT "ASL Fortune" and "Paradise Island" vessels were sold for 19.3 million and 21.9 million USD respectively. The 2009 Japanese-built "Crested Eagle" found a buyer for 14.95 million USD.

In the Handysize segment, the 2012 Chinese-built 35K DWT "Yellow Sea" sold for 12 million USD after waiting for a buyer for some time, and the "Pan Kristine," one year older, sold for 11 million USD. The 2012 Japanese-built Imabari-28 type "IVS Ibis" also changed hands for 11.7 million USD.

In the coaster sales, the 2004 Dutch-built 11K DWT "Elba" was sold for 6.1 million USD.