NWE/MED: In the NWE market, activity continues to be at healthy levels this week as well with cold weather conditions
In the NWE market, activity continues to be at healthy levels this week
as well with cold weather conditions remaining in the area. Also the
shipping market has tightened further with most vessels dedicated under
coa’s and vessels for prompt loadings are scarce. The number of
enquiries and fixtures has decreased of course due to the markets
tightness. Also as reported there are still delays seen due to the
extreme weather conditions especially in the Black Sea where there is an
evident lack of vessels. According to reports there were various
refinery shutdowns in the region that caused an extra need for tons thus
further tightening the market. More specifically the propane coaster
market this week remains on the quiet side for yet another week as the
cold weather conditions need to stay a bit longer to see some
substantial change. Also as reported a few cargoes were headed towards
the South to cover coa positions. On the other hand the butane coaster
market maintains healthy activity with quite a few enquiries seen and
fixtures concluded with the arbitrage window to the South still there.
Also blenders have reappeared and are showing their interest.
Moving to the MED now, this week the spot market also remains quite
strong with less enquiries and fixtures seen due to shipping tightness.
The number of available vessels on a prompt basis has significantly
decreased. Also the majority of fixtures have been for yet another week
reported ex NWE to Morocco and East Med. Also freight rates remain at
good levels due to the increased spot demand and lack of vessel
availabilities. In the propane coaster market in particular, there has
been increased demand for spot cargoes as a result of the colder weather
conditions but no fixture was confirmed as of yet. On the other hand
the butane coaster market is also very firm with demand mainly coming
from Tunisia and Egypt. Also as reported quite a few parcels ex S France
were traded on p+c terms for yet another week.
In the Feast pressurized market activity was quieter this week with the
majority of spot enquiries seen ex. Singapore, Malaysia and South China.
In China, as reported export prices have increased quite a bit and as
predicted demand has picked up after the holidays with traders looking
to replenish their low stockpiles. Also reportedly the Jinling and
Jingmen petrochemical facilities will be offline for about a month
during Feb and March for maintenance purposes. Lastly according to
reports another petrochemical unit will be offline for maintenance for
approximately 20 days with production rates reduced to about 100-200
In the Asian petchems market now, ppl activity is at more or less at
same levels as last week showing no real improvement with the majority
of enquiries seen ex. Korea towards E China for del 1H March. Also
vessel availabilities are on the short side as most are dedicated to coa
programs and finding a suitable vessel on the right dates seems to be a
challenge. In the other petchems markets, activity remains restricted
with the bulk of transactions seen in the btd and cc4 markets as usual.
Reportedly there was a btd parcel ex MPT towards E China/Korea range mid
Feb but nothing was finalized yet as finding a suitable vessel proved
difficult. Elsewhere b1 and raffinate cargoes were reportedly delivered
on tc tonnage and vcm remains inactive.
Time Charter Fixtures
BW Nice (59,000 cbm) was fixed for 3 years T/C to Petrobras del Caribs – hire reported at around 875k pcm.
Cornwall (16,500 cbm) was fixed for 3 months T/C to Hyproc with del MED – hire reported at around usd 750k pcm
Helios (57,000 cbm) was fixed for about 3 months T/C to acct Trafigura with del Feb/Caribs – hire reported around usd 700k pcm
Sale and Purchase/New Buildings
Baruc (2,850 cbm, blt 1982) was sold for scrap to breakers in Ecuador – pnr.
Patchwardee 8 (2,917 cbm, blt 1976, 1,790 lwt) was sold for scrap to breakers in Alang – pnr
Source: StealthGas INC