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Tanker Market: VLCCs on Steady Course

VLCC

A steady week of fixing in the Middle East has kept rates relatively flat. And, although West Africa was seemingly busier, rates remain static here also. A 280,000mt Middle East Gulf to US Gulf (Cape/Cape routing) remains at the WS20.5 level, while 270,000mt Middle East Gulf to China arguably eased half a point to WS40.25 (showing a roundtrip TCE of about minus $100 per day). In the Atlantic, rates for 260,000mt West Africa to China are stuck at the WS42.5 mark (a TCE of about $3.4k/day roundtrip) and 270,000mt US Gulf to China slipped $56k to $5.275m (a TCE of $7.6k per day roundtrip). This is on the back of SK reportedly taking the Miracle Hope USG to South Korea at $5.25m. Chevron, meanwhile, are reported to have fixed a Maran vessel at $5.275m to China.

Suezmax

In West Africa, the rate for 130,000mt Nigeria/UK Continent rose another three points this week to WS71 (a roundtrip TCE of about $6.2k/day) while the rate for 135,000mt Black Sea/Med was steady at WS75 (a TCE roundtrip of about $600 per day). The Middle East market had another busy week with a handful of fixtures done for Western destinations where the rate for 140,000mt Basrah/Lavera started at WS36.5 and steadily rose to WS45 now.

Aframax

In the Mediterranean, a softer market was seen and the rate for 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera eased five points back to WS100 ($4.8k per day TCE roundtrip) while in Northern Europe the market for 80,000mt Cross-North Sea experienced a modest improvement of two points to WS107.5 region ($1000/day TCE roundtrip). The rate for the 100,000mt Baltic/UK Continent trip saw a similar step up to just over WS80 (a TCE of about $4.9k per day roundtrip). Across the Atlantic, a much different but exciting tale unfolded with rates for 70,000mt US Gulf/UK Continent climbing 44 points to WS134 (a TCE of $13.9k/day roundtrip), while the shorter local voyages similarly rose. Rates for 70,000mt Caribbean/US Gulf are up 48 points to between 147.5-150 (a TCE of just shy of $17k/day roundtrip) and 70,000mt East Coast Mexico/US Gulf is 44 points higher than last week at just below WS155 (which shows a roundtrip TCE of $20,000/day).

Clean

There have been mixed movements in the Middle East Gulf this week. The LR2s to Japan have been tested down and TC1 dropped 7.43 points to WS 90.36, a round-trip TCE of $2,537/day. The LR1s on the other hand have seen healthy activity levels and have risen WS23.57 points this week TC5 55k Middle East Gulf / Japan is now at WS123.57, a round-trip TCE of $7,955/day. On the MRs, 35k Middle East Gulf / East Africa (TC17) has also had an upturn and is now at WS191.67 (+WS18.34).

The Mediterranean Handy market has been pushed up this week from bad weather affecting available tonnage and TC6 30kt Skikda / Lavera is now at WS 143.13 (+WS 21). The LR2s, TC15 80k Mediterranean / Japan have been lacklustre by comparison and are subsequently now marked at around $1.675m. The Baltic Handy market has continued steady this week and TC9 30k Baltic / UK-Continent is still at WS120.

On the UK-Continent MRs, enquiry levels have been encouraging. And, after a long period of stationary freight levels, owners are now refusing to repeat last done of WS100. Both TC2 37k UK-Continent / US Atlantic Coast and TC19 37k Amsterdam to Lagos have seen improvements and are currently WS109.44 and WS110 respectively. On the LR1s, TC16 60k Amsterdam / Offshore Lomé activity continued to put ships on subs this week without moving rates from the WS85 level.

In the Americas, depressed volumes of market enquiry have left plenty of tonnage still available. TC14 38k US Gulf / UK-Continent has dropped WS3.22 to WS69.64 and TC18 35k from US Gulf / Brazil has also seen an incremental drop of WS3.57 to WS111.43. The MR Atlantic basket TCE dropped from $1446/day to $1246/day.
Source: The Baltic Exchange

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