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Tanker Market: More Activity in the VLCC Segment


The Middle East remained active this week, whilst the Atlantic region seemingly quietened, and rates continued to climb albeit at a glacial pace. In the Middle East Gulf 280,000mt to US Gulf (via the Cape/Cape routing) continues to be assessed WS20.5-21 level while 270,000mt to China rose two points to WS41 (showing a roundtrip TCE of $3.2k per day). In the Atlantic, rates for 260,000mt West Africa to China rose two points on the back of Middle Eastern firmness to WS43 ($6.8k/day roundtrip) and 270,000mt US Gulf to China is now rated a modest $20k higher at $5.125m (a TCE of $9k per day roundtrip).


In West Africa the rate for 130,000mt Nigeria/UK Continent improved by two points to almost WS55 (a roundtrip TCE of about $zero), while the rate for 135,000mt Black Sea/Med mirrored this rise to WS62 (a TCE roundtrip of minus $6k per day). The Middle East market continues to be active with reports of Basrah/West voyages done by European charterers, reflected in the assessment of 140,000mt Basrah/Lavera now at WS27, unchanged from a week ago.


In the Mediterranean, rates for 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera were pushed up 10 points to WS100 ($6.3k per day TCE roundtrip), while in Northern Europe the market for 80,000mt Cross-North Sea saw a 2.5 point gain to WS95 (minus $4k/day TCE roundtrip) and the 100,000mt Baltic/UK Continent route also advanced two points to WS63 (a TCE of about minus $2k per day roundtrip).

Across the Atlantic, rates for the 70,000mt US Gulf/UK Continent fell 2.5 points to WS 80 (a TCE of minus $300/day roundtrip, or a much more positive TCE if a single trip) while the market for the shorter local voyages tumbled further. For 70,000mt Caribbean/US Gulf the rate is now assessed 10 points lower week-on-week at WS81.5 (a TCE of minus $3.1k/day roundtrip) while the rate for 70,000mt East Coast Mexico/US Gulf had 13 points deducted over the week to WS84.5-85 region (which shows a roundtrip TCE of minus $1.8k/day).


Another week of balance between supply and demand in the Middle East Gulf and subsequently rates have remained relatively stable. On the LR2s to Japan TC1 has dropped 2.21 points to WS105.36, a round-trip TCE of $8,565/day. The LR1’s, despite increased volumes, have also dropped and TC5 55k Middle East Gulf / Japan is now at WS103.57. On the MRs, 35k Middle East Gulf / East Africa (TC17) has resettled region WS195.

Continued momentum in the Mediterranean Handy market this week and TC6 30kt Skikda / Lavera has been tested up WS13.75 points to WS130.63.

The LR2’s peaked at around $2.1m early in the week for the TC15 80k Mediterranean / Japan run, charterers drew a line in the sand to quell sentiment and the market has now returned to the $2.0m mark.

The Baltic Handy market saw freight rates tested up early in the week, as a result of a lack of tonnage at the front end of the list. As the week progressed, TC9 30k Baltic / UK-Continent then settled out to WS130.

On the UK-Continent MR freight levels have continued along at WS100 for the TC2 37k UK-Continent / US Atlantic Coast. TC19 37k Amsterdam to Lagos also remains WS100. The excess of available capacity in the region still needs to be cleared out before freight rates can see any real upward progress.

On the LR1s, TC16 60k Amsterdam / Offshore Lomé freight levels have been further pushed up this week and at time of writing WS87.5 is reported on subjects.

In the Americas, healthy activity levels for a second week running have provided the area with another boost. TC14 38k US Gulf / UK-Continent has come up WS17.5 to WS80.36 and TC18 35k from US Gulf / Brazil has risen WS28.75 to WS120.83.
Source: The Baltic Exchange

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