Baltic Handysize clean freight rates drop to 2018 low
Freight rates for clean Handysize vessels in the Baltic region have dropped to the lowest level this year in slow August trade, with a larger-than-expected number of Long Range 1 tankers on subjects for mid-month ultra low sulfur diesel cargoes from Russia’s Primorsk port weighing on the market.
The Baltic-UK Continent route for 30,000 mt cargoes was assessed at Worldscale 125 Tuesday, down from w130, caused by an an excess of prompt tonnage in the Baltic. The Hafnia Soya was heard on subs for a 30,000 mt ULSD cargo loading in the Baltic on August 12 for a UKC discharge at w125.
On Wednesday, three LR1s were heard on subs for Primorsk loadings with laycan dates in the August 15-18 range, which is one more than what was implied in the Primorsk loading program seen by Platts earlier this month.
The BW Seine was heard on subs for a 60,000 mt cargo with an August 17 laycan loading in Primorsk for a Mediterranean discharge at w90 with a Morocco option at an unknown rate.
Also, the Estia and the Venus R was heard on subs for August 13 and August 15 loadings at the same port for the same cargo size, both discharging in UKC at w105.
Shipbrokers said Wednesday the concentration of Primorsk LR1 cargoes in the natural fixing window is what is “killing” the Handysize market.
“There are no Handy cargoes,” one shipbroker said.
“Plus it is mid-August with a skeleton staff in every trading house… so there is so much tonnage around,” another shipbroker said.