NWE/MED: In the NWE market, activity seemed to pick up this week compared to the silence seen a couple
In the NWE market, activity seemed to pick up this week compared to the silence seen a couple of weeks ago. There were quite a few enquiries and actual fixtures taking place resulting in quite a few vessels being committed and only a few availabilities reported on a prompt basis. Also as a result of tight vessel availabilities, especially of suitable vessels market’s freight rates have firmed up for now. Furthermore there are scheduled coa loadings reported for May along with spot fixtures that will keep this market pretty busy. Also there are reportedly some strikes in North France that has lead to a further tightening up in tonnage availability. More specifically the propane coaster market is still on the quiet side as this time of the year is not the best for this grade. On to the butane coaster market, activity is much healthier than on the propane side with the arbitrage window to the south remaining quite strong. Also as reported there have been fresh stems in the market with most of which being fixed mainly from North France and South Coast UK.
Moving to the MED now, this week market activity was yet again at subdued levels with spot fixing vessels in shortage and mostly coa’s were moving the market forward. In the propane coaster market specifically activity remains very quiet with spot demand decreasing as most positions are already covered. On to the butane coaster market now, activity was relatively at better levels but there were quite a few problems in this market as well. Mainly cargo availabilities were rather weak and quite a few refineries are offline due to scheduled maintenance operations. Furthermore there were delays seen as a result of strikes in France putting some pressure on the market.
In the Feast pressurized market activity was pretty much subdued this week with particularly low activity seen on the spot side. As a result of the quiet spot market there has been an increase of spot prompt vessels opening in the area that will thus lower rates. As reported there were quite a few tenders being issued in the wider area none of which have been awarded as of yet. Moving on to China, the export price was showing a downward trend and the domestic trading price was reportedly quite competitive among refineries and terminals. As far as refinery turnarounds are concerned there will be reportedly a scheduled maintenance of the Zhanjian Dongxing refinery stopping production up until end May.
In the Asian petchems market now, ppl has been on the quiet side with prices slightly dropping this week on the back of lower fixing levels. Although there was some interest for ppl from the Feast regions with a number of enquiries reported. Moving on to the btd market there were some enquiries seen ex China but we can see that most needs are currently being covered by coa’s leaving little for the spot market trade. As far as the cc4’s are concerned, there have reportedly been quite a few enquiries around Spore for Seasia and Kaohsiung for Daesan but nothing reported final. Also b1 has seen its share of activity with Marubeni and Apex reportedly in the market for stems both for 1H May but nothing has been confirmed. Lastly the vcm market saw some activity being shown for June but nothing was finalized here either.
Time Charter Fixtures
Maersk Grace (22,000 cbm, blt 2010) was fixed for 3 +3 months T/C to acct Reliance with del mid April/India – hnr.
Cumbria (17,000 cbm, blt 1990) was extended for 20 months T/C to acct Geogas in direct continuation – hire reported at about usd 500’s.
Sale and Purchase/New Buildings
According to reports Navigator Gas has ordered up to 6 x 21,000 cbm ethylene capable vessels at Jiangnan Shipyard, China. The first delivery is scheduled for April 2014 and price per vessel at about usd 49 mill, total contract around usd 300 mill.