The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index booked its sixth consecutive weekly decline as rates slid across all vessel segments, taking it to lows not seen since June 2020 on Friday. The capesize index fell its lowest since early June 2020 with a 46% weekly fall, its worst in over two years. This was also its sixth consecutive weekly fall. More negative news out of the Chinese ailing property sector, COVID-19 curbs, steel production cuts and tensions over Taiwan hamper shipping. The BDI index saw a weekly loss of 15.4% on the week.
Baltic Exchange Dry Index (BDI) Segments (August 26, 2022)
- The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index on Friday fell 41 points, or about 3.7%, to 1,082 points, an over two-year low
- The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels lost 15.4% for its sixth weekly consecutive decline., pressured by weak demand across the larger vessel segments.
- The capesize index fell 63 points, or about 13.3%, to 411 points, its lowest since early June 2020. It posted a 46% weekly fall, its worst in over two years. This was also its sixth consecutive weekly dip.
- Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $518 to $3,413.
- The panamax index, which has not seen a single day of gains since over a month, shed 52 points, or about 3.7%, to 1,372 points. It posted an 19% weekly fall, the worst in eight months.
- * Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $472 to $12,344.
- The supramax index fell for the second day, losing 19 points to 1,744 points.
Factors influencing Freight right now
- The Biden administration announced sweeping export restrictions against Russia, hammering its access to global exports following Moscow’s attack on Ukraine.
- Shipbroker Jefferies, however, expects average rates for 2022 to be higher than last year rates “especially as most Western buyers of commodities try to diversify away from Russian cargoes”.
- Shanghai remains largely shuttered for eighteen consecutive weeks. Air cargo operations remain severely constrained at PVG. Ramp handlers, truckers, and key employees have seen limited access to airport and cargo facilities. As a result, most major airlines and air cargo carriers have canceled flights in and out of PVG.
- With few logical geographic alternatives to PVG, cargo backlogs continue to mount. When combined with new production volumes as the city itself reopens, we estimate that backlogs could take weeks to clear, driving significant capacity tightness on PVG-based lanes, and thus materially increasing prices.
- Dalian and Singapore iron ore futures fell as traders weighed demand prospects in top steel producer China, plagued by a debt crisis in its real estate industry.
- Maize crop conditions in the EU’s top grain producer France declined steeply last week to their lowest in at least a decade, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed, due to a worsening drought and heatwave.
- Meanwhile, two more ships left Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, including one laden with the first Ukrainian wheat to be exported under a U.N.-brokered deal, Turkey’s defense ministry said.
- Delays at ports along the U.S. West Coast remain
- Ports have tried to extend working times to clear backlogs and companies have sought to shorten delivery routes and diversify goods suppliers to alleviate delays.
- Leading container group A.P. Moller-Maersk told its customers last quarter it was struggling to move goods around the world.
The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) is a composite of the dry bulk timecharter averages and provides a continuous time series since 1985. The BDI is a composite of and factors in rates for Capesize, Panamax and Supramax Timecharter Averages. It is reported around the world as a proxy for dry bulk shipping stocks as well as a general shipping market bellwether.
- Baltic Capesize Index (40%)
- Baltic Panamax Index (30%)
- Baltic Supramax Index (30%)
Baltic Dry hit a temporary peak on May 20, 2008, when the index hit 11,793. The lowest level ever reached was on Wednesday the 10th of February 2016, when the index dropped to 290 points.
There a number of negative catalysts stemming from the climate and supply crisis stifling demand. While we are seeing easing congestion at Chinese ports and thin coal cargo flows out of the Pacific are weighing on capesizes. Steel futures prices in China jumped, with hot-rolled coils and construction rebar climbing more than 4% in intraday trade to narrow the gap with spot prices, as traders cheered a marginal improvement in consumption of industrial metals.
With China striving to ease it’s energy crisis by limiting steel production to limit industrial power usage portside inventory of iron ore has swollen to the highest level in 31 months. China is the world’s top steel producer and their restrictions have crushed demand. for iron ore.
What are the Baltic indices?
From The Baltic Exchange
The Baltic indices are based on assessments of the cost of transporting various bulk cargoes, both wet (eg crude oil and oil products),dry (eg coal and iron ore), gas (LNG and LPG) made by leading shipbroking houses located around the world on a per tonne and daily hire basis. The information is collated and published by the Baltic Exchange. We also provide daily container market assessments in collaboration with Freightos and a weekly air freight index as well as assessments on vessel operating costs, Sale & Purchase and vessel recycling prices.
The principal dry cargo indices are: the Baltic Exchange Capesize Index (BCI); Baltic Exchange Panamax Index (BPI); the Baltic Exchange Supramax Index (BSI); and the Baltic Exchange Handysize index (BHSI). The Baltic Exchange Dry Index (BDI) is calculated by taking the timecharter components of the Baltic’s capesize, panamax and supramax indices.
The Baltic Exchange International Tanker Routes (BITR) reports on international oil routes and makes up the Baltic Exchange Dirty Tanker Index (BDTI) and the Baltic Exchange Clean Tanker Index (BCTI).
We cover the gas markets through our LNG (BLNG) and LPG (BLPG) assessments.
Shipping investors are able to assess the health of vessel earnings through our quarterly operating expenses assessments, as well as our weekly Sale & Purchase and Recycling assessments.
Forward curves for all listed freight contracts are also published on a daily basis.
Source: The Baltic Exchange Reuters
From The TradersCommunity US Research Desk