reading between the lines

“Capesizes ride on the whims of market emotion“, Bmti hired a poet today. A poet doing a nice analogy, putting together bitcoins roller coaster with Capes index. Not being a poet, I would have said, Capes and Bitcoins are behaving like chicken. Moving one way or the other, backward, forward, without any rational, just moving, for the sake of moving.

Bitcoin index up to a certain extend is comparable to the Capes index in the last 2-3 months. you can have a look here about bitcoin moves & here about Capesize index

Once again, and this shall last, as said yesterday, Atlantic market is the area where owners can find dynamic market. Surely now on the handies and supras, despite high bunkers prices, it still makes sense to consider ballasting from Gibraltar, either to USG or ECSA and go for the money hunting game. Bmti’s mentionning “Grains charterers are likely to concede $40/mt for 30,000grains from Plate to Algeria” . Back to my yesterday’s estimations, mv ‘Kumbo’ fixture reported shall already be above $40/mt. And as said yesterday, pending question therefore is to know if it’s going to “Set the Market” or not.

Continent is not showing great excitment. When you are experiencing few phone calls from Owners, with spot ships in Continental Atlantic area, wondering what we can propose to the ships, is not a good signal. To my opinion, charterers took advantage of the post holidays seasons to secure their cargoes at fairly low level, anticipating a potential market raise later on. The market raise from Continent is still yet to come.

Thinking over again, nowadays the rules of the chartering game in the 21st Century are not balanced anymore. With the digital information and the AIS tracking systems, it’s very difficult for owners to hide their positions. Fairly easy for charterers and brokers to have quite a clear view on each area of the world about ships supply. The contrary, ie having a view on cargoes ready to be moved, is quite a challenge for Owners. Eventhough some trades are all year long actives, how can Owners know, with 100% certainty, there are more (or less) cargoes than the ones proposed on the market. How to be sure 2 cargoes circulated are not only 1 at the end? With one being “just for the sake of testing the market”. Looking like, and good for us the brokers, Owners will need to rely on information provided by their brokers and their abilities to read between the lines on information given and gathered through discussions with the traders and charterers.

between the lines
Don’t give up Lucy, or ask your preferred broker (Pelagos if you want)

Finally to entertain your week-end, if needed, you can have a look at this video about ships gas emissions regulation, proposed by Lloyds.





“Cyber threat” and “Greener ships” 2018 focus for shipping

Good day, good morning,

Non shipping people often struggle to understand why we, the shipping mates, are somehow reluctant to take many days off in a row. I’m just back from a long week-end and yes, it’s difficult to get back into the market and try to get back with a decent picture on where the market is, where the market heading to and what are the main key drivers influencing the daily value of the ships?

Yes, Oil has hitted 3 years high records near $70 a barrel leading Bunkers prices up. This is not enough to bring freight up. Ships market value on chartering according to the index is back before the “Autumn 2017 rally”, today BDI is at 1,139. BDI was touch below this level back on Aug 12th 2017. This downside is mainly driven by the big ladies and the overall Pacific Market, Capesize being in free fall since beginning of the year. 4,211 was the index back on 13th dec 2017, today, one month later 1,611 only.

As mentionned by BMTI today, the pre Chinese holiday rush has not popped up yet and it’s quite likely Owners will need to be bit (more and again) patient. Market revival on the Capes might come up 15/10 days before China being off and back again beg March when Asia is back on track.

In today’s BDI fixture list, this Kambos fixture raised our attention “‘Kambos’ 2008 33,225 dwt dely Rio De Janeiro 21/25 Jan trip via Plate redel Algeria $16,250 – Seaside”… $16,250 is quite above today’s HS3_38 route showing $15,631 with a +$101. Knowing Kambos, is it worth to highlight, is not really a 38kdwt index type. When these index ships can load somewhere close to 32,500mt of bulk wheat on 32’sw , the Kambos, shall only be able to load something like 31,000mt. For the sake of running the voyage equivalent, on the usual argentinean/algerian terms ie 7000satnoonshex / 2500th5pmSun8amshex

If my estimations are not too wrong,

  • bss 31,000mt loaded, $16,250 dely RdJ is bringing the freight per metric ton @ $43.00
  • bss 32,500mt loaded, (intake of a modern 38kdwt), freight pmt likely to be @ $41.50
  • bss today’s index, on 32,500mt loaded, freight shall be @ 40.50…
  • Knowing similar trade was concluded last week touch below $39pmt on voyage basis (tce being then around $14,750)

Would it mean Index is short by $2.50pmt on this route?

Having run the maths, now back to the opening off today’s market comment

where is the market?”


Is one fixture setting up a route value?

Certainly not, meantime this is somehow setting the “last done” and of course, Owners will argue, this fixture is a proof ECSA handy market is picking up, and they’ll be right to try to obtain “as per last reported”.

Of course, on the other side, Charterers will argue, not to forget what’s behind the scene on this fixture, if charterers were squeezed and in need for this specific ship, yes they probably paid a premium to secure the candidate, adding, “this is a specific scenario and we don’t change our ideas, as we are not in a rush”. Charterers will probably be also right with this statement. Usual game.

Appart from that, hanging around on various shipping market source of information, you have not missed (or you were sleeping on the moon in the last months), greener sea transportation is one of the key challenge ahead of our industry (beside knowing with no doubt where the market is?).  Lloydslist is having in Gothenborg, now, an “intelligence Executive Meeting”. Managing director of MSC Sweden, (if you’re wondering who’s MSC, they claim to be “a world leader in Global Container shipping I’m a big guy) Morten Moller Wesidal, to name him, is declaring “Our customers don’t care about the environment. They won’t give us one extra dollar to be green, whatever they say“.

It’s probably a shortcut to say “customers don’t care” but it’s still probably right, customers (which could also be called charterers)  are hardly valuing greener transportation.

It is also said “Cyber risk is a major boardroom headache, with cost of damage last year (not only in shipping) estimated at $1 trillion… three times damage causes by natural disasters“. (this is a Davos meeting statement, sure these guys know about intelligence).

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”fr”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><a href=”;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Cyber</a> risk is a major boardroom headache, with cost of damage last year estimated at $1 Trillion, three times damage caused by natural disasters, says <a href=””>@wef</a> today</p>&mdash; Richard Clayton (@rjbclayton) <a href=””>17 janvier 2018</a></blockquote>

Lucky us TESLA will save the planet, will save ustesla ship!


So, should you still wonder what will be the 2018 highlights, seems greener cyber risk will be on the plate in the 12 months to come. Or did I miss something?

Have a nice green day, have a nice digital reading of this report.


Jerome Sorrel


twitter: @jeromesorrel

short and sweet (sweet hopefully)

I’m not on strike of doing reports eventhough I’m french but I let you go through this one on your own. And let you go through this Bloomberg article.

Also owners shall be worried (but not too much) when they realize GASC (Egyptian office in charge of wheat importation (Egypt being biggest wheat importer in the Universe)) received no offer from the traders for their tender put in air yesterday. No offer = no wheat to ship ! Trust this is going to be sorted soon with easier conditions from the Egyptian. Or let them walk…

All the kids in the marketplace say
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
Walk like an Egyptian



chartering market still not yet fully in 2018

Good day, good morning,

if you read BMTI today, looking like they agree with comments I made yesterday about the downside of the market being already “long time ago”.

Focusing on the Capes, being able to secure $20,000 for a year-long duration period. +$4,000 daily on trans-atlantic voyage is starting to be serious, if not too volatile to be true.

Panamaxes also seeming to be in good shape with $18,000/19,000 on front-haul biz from Continent to Spore Japan range.

Supras and handies seems to be bit more quiet, at least on the paper. And I tend to agree, these sizes need bit more time to come back into a positive mood for Owners. We are still in the process of recovering from the quiet week 52 (it was last week only) but view numbers of grains requirements we are seeing either from ECSA or CONT or BLSEA for 15th jan onward, there are good reasons to believe Owners will find the strengh to fight against charterers willingness to keep market where it’s now. Meantime, just doing the basic brokers’ job, counting ships/cargoes, spot owners might still find next week being frustrating with charterers remaining with quite a bit of choice when it comes to chosing the perfect candidate.

This perfect candidate might be the one, dead spot, keen to discount the money to get it done.

We spent bit of time yesterday with Owners’ chartering team and we discussed about the 2020 IMO Gaz emissions rules which are now set in the stone. This low emission target is obviously bringing lot of question marks on the table and 2020 being tomorrow, it’s also putting lot of uncertainty about the decisions owners having to make to comply with these rules. This is very nicely exposed and summarized in this article proposed by Ship&Bunkers which you can find in full here

Yes, owners question marks will also need to be backed up by responsible Charterers. The big* players having obviously their role to play in this market change. As an example, find here the very Corporate Position of Louis Dreyfus Company. Yes it’s very Corporate but still we can believe this is also how Dreyfus chartering people being briefed.

*big players but surely all players whether they are big or small will also be impacted about these changes and new rules

Have a nice day, week-end and for those of you reading being in Orthodox Countries, let me wish you a merry Christmas.



hangover but quick market recovery

Biggest daily percentage fall in nearly 4 years“, this is BDI achievement to start the first day of quotation in 2018. this was Tuesday 2nd jan index and more details are seen here:

  • minus close to 10% of the BDI overall
  • close to minus 20% on the Capes, biggest drop since at least 1999
  • close to minus 4% on the Panamaxes
  • As usual the smaller ladies, Supras and handies showing some good signs of resistance, not to say resilience.

Yes but this was indexes seen on 2nd january and very openly, this was kind of expected after the holidays’ seasons break and this sounds to be already long time ago, up to a certain extend.

Said differently, while older people (older than you) need days to recover from New Year’s Eve excesses and hangover, younger people (younger than them) can recover quicker than time for a snap of fingers. Shipping market is looking like being a young folk, full of energy and having enough experience to recover quickly from the tipsy feeling.


The big ladies are showing already signs of reaction, with BCI + 289points today, at 2,715, when on 2nd jan, the 20% drop was -549points and bringing index for this big ladies at 2,281. Sure the overall sentiment on the handies is bit less exciting. Quite few ships are pilling up, being open and or in ballast and owners trying to secure their next employments are keen to consider below last done, last done being done during week 52.
Rouen to algeria usual handy stem was fixed at or touch above $18.00. When the spot prompt requirements are done at $18.00 and charterers doing their max to obtain below this.

Same ex upr to algeria, was discussed during week 52, for january shipment at $39pmt, while we have rumors (and so confirmed by BMTI), below $38 being done and still doable.

Exception is coming from Blsea with quite a steady handy demand, leading tce to Wmed being worth $12,000 daily dely Canakkale, while end December, owners would have been happy to get $10,000 for same business.

Should you wonder how the 2017 year looked like for the S&P activity, comparable number of ships has been sold on 2nd hand (690 in 2017 Vs. 649 in 2016). Converted into US$, 2017 US$ 8,593 has been put on the table, while in 2016, the S&P market has been worth $5,823 (source BMTI ). Not enough details available to make a sharp comparison, meantime, average age of the ships who changed ownerships’ in 2017 was 10 years old while in 2016 it was 9yrs old.

What should we expect in 2018? (in the next 360 days ahead of us (roughly)), if we believe BIMCO is having a good point of view, below some highlights from their 4th january publication, available on-line for the Bimco members, (which we are):

  • “the world trade volume growth rate (goods and services) is expected to drop from 4.2% in 2017 to 4.0% in 2018.”
  • “Chinese demand has exceeded expectations (in 2017) on the upside and as that happened, fleet growth exceeded expectations on the downside, denting some of the upside potential.”
  • “2018 could become the first year since 2011, with the industry returning a profit, but we shouldn’t be too hasty. It is mostly in the hands of the shipowners, as fleet growth may increase as little as 1% if handled with care”
  • “For 2018, the challenge is for owners and operators to maintain slow steaming. BIMCO expects the supply-side to grow by around 1% in 2018 (3.2% in 2017E) “

have a nice end of day and a nice 2018. As I quoted the bright guy last week on 29th dec,

“hope for the best but be prepared for the worst”.

I wish you only the best.




insightful shipping market comments, as always*

For sure, you’re wondering about what’s coming next, in 2018. How you should kick off 2018? Sure you don’t need my advises for the next hours before the closing on 2017 and the start of 2018 (ie when you poor yourself another drink and you don’t even want to wonder if it’s reasonable or not). Surely, my advises will be fairly useless anyway as I would most probably encourage you for another drink(and if you have to drive back home I might steal your car’s key).

Once again, BMTI is proposing some good reviews on the 2017 activity. The one dated on 28th dec is about coasters and containers, the one dated today is about commodities prices, oil prices, and performance of the listed shipowners Companies in the NASDAQ, view the price/share, let’s believe 2018 will hardly be worse than 2017 for these guys.

And maybe you should consider subscribing to BMTI in 2018, they are doing great piece of market analysis on daily basis, and I can tell you, it’s not easy every day!

Also, you can go through this Bloomberg article and you’ll realize, it’s not easy neither nowadays to be a shipping magnate. A daily battle**, I’m telling you (well Bloomberg’s telling us).  Could be scary to read “in 2014[…]the company’s market value dived from a peak of $22billion to the previous year to settle at about $120 million”… looking like not only ice is melting.


daily battle is quite fashion (was in 2017, what about 2018? we shall ask Kim K her opinion, she’s an expert)

How 2018 will look like? no better plan than asking to all our friends experts their opinion, see here , with some eye catching phrases picked up here and some insightful comments I can make (or vice & versa about the eye catching and insightful comments)

  • “the first check point for drybulk is around the corner”…

–>So I can only advise you my friends not to leave any unturned stones and stop being patient. Open your eyes, know where to look at.

  • “2018 will signal the end of the panamax segment”…

–>Sure this is said by a shipowners who invested massively in Ultramax

  • “hope for the best but prepare for the worst”…

–>this one is very useful. Guys, buy an umbrella and sunglasses, wear your belt and braces, don’t drink and drive and all shall be ok for 2018, just be prepared.

  • “we are going to see the introduction of solutions to begin transition to a new ecosystem of smart solutions”

–>whaou! can’t wait for this “ecosystem of smart solution. (2017 was about dumb solutions as we all know)

Finally, I don’t know if splash247 did it on purpose but the article they published just before the “themes that will dominate shipping in 2018” is called “where are the visionary maritime leaders?”… hey, stop wondering, the reply just arrived just above thanks to our experts. Should you wonder, still, where are the visionary maritime leaders, then you can read this one:

I’m not an expert, far from here, I’m still fairly sure next Tuesday, will be fairly similar to this Friday and if you’re asking me, I find this quite reassuring. Yes we shall expect some changes in 2018, our side we’ll try only to improve the service we are able to provide you on daily basis and we have to face it, it won’t change the picture of the Maritime and Chartering World, but let’s believe it will somehow contribute to a succesful year for all of you reading these reports, and for us, it’s already a good start.

have a nice end of the year if you’re not chinese, if you are, then be patient, you’ll have your turn to celebrate soon. And you can still have a cup of champagne or two, to train for your next festivities.



*trying to, at least

**and no, here the daily battle is not about the handy tote bag

“fix and forget” vs “fix to forget”

thoughts of the day before you all go after champagne and Christmas festivities.

Some are very good with the “fix and forget” concept. Which as all of you know, is quite often related to the brokers, who would die and sell his/her (yes a broker can also be a woman) mother to fix this ship together with this cargo. When you talk to this broker, it’s lovely, you feel like (s)he is 100% dedicated to your issue, ie finding the perfect ship for this cargo or finding the perfect cargo for this ship.

This brokers is so helpful you are therefore so grateful to him/her when the fixture is done. And once done, your best broker ever, out of a sudden, in the 5 minutes (sometimes even 2) after the subs being lifted, this lovely broker don’t even remember the name of the ship, nor the loading port, nor the main important terms which are agreed and you have to chase Brokers’ desk operation department (when there is one) to beg for some follow up and some nice post-fixing advises.

This is the “fix and forget” summary… you see it’s also a book but afraid nothing related to shipping


Have you ever heard of the “fix to forget” concept?

No… let’s adress this the “fix to forget” concept is more related to the principals (but not always). The principals sometimes go to the “fix to forget” concept, just because they are left with not much choice.

Owners’ have to fix at $10,000 daily their ship when they were hoping few days earlier to be able to get at least $13,000 daily in their pockets. But no the market went the wrong way, cheap competitor gave away their tonnage for peanuts and made their best to screw other Owners’ hopes.

Likewise, Charterers’ have to fix at $40pmt when couple of days earlier they were offered $38pmt but they were having the feeling market will keep going down. But no, their stupid competitors gave away on same buisness $40.50 and still they have to be happy to fix at $40 and remain within their books. In these specific scenarios, principals have to “fix to forget”, fix to forget they can’t beat the market. Fix to forget they missread the market and yes sometimes this is happening.

I personnally know few brokers, who are “fixing to forget“. Fixing to forget they’re spending their whole life in front of a computer, scrolling down 3,500 emails/day, fixing to forget they have absolute no social life, no friends, no nothing. Nothing else then their lovely computer (and Iphone X). Funnily these brokers are also quite good to combine 1st the “fix to forget” concept closely followed with the “fix and forget” concept described above.

The above is to tell you a bit more about what’s going on in shipping. As of course none of the readers of these daily (or so) market reports shall recognize themselves in these concepts. You’re the best of the best, the cream of the crop. You never missread the market as you DO the market. You never have to “fix to forget” because you have so many friends, you have such a nice lifestyle (I can see that on your instagram account) and on top you know how to chose your brokers, proof is, Pelagos is part of your panel.

This to say, and it’s usually time of the year do to so, we really enjoy your support, we really enjoy the information you’re providing us, we really enjoy fixing your ships and cargoes and we thank you for believing we are the right ones to be able to serve you to the best of your interests. We do our best never to fix and forget, we never fix to forget and we love once the fixture is done to get as an award “thank you very much for this fixture“. This is making our day, our week, our month, our year… And the commissions? it simply helps to pay the bills (and the school for the kids bills’ too, thank you for them)…

Have a lovely Christmas time, enjoy this time of the year with your beloved one, and please, don’t forget, we are here next week to keep up working on it!

All the best and merry christmas to all of you. and should you feel like in needs for recipes for Sunday evening, go here

you’re welcome