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Tankers: Clean Market Shaken By Colonial Pipeline Attack

VLCC

In the Middle East, the market for 280,000mt Middle East to US Gulf (routing via the Cape/Cape) continues to be assessed at WS18.5 level while rates for 270,000mt to China have similarly been stuck at WS32.5 (showing a round-trip TCE of minus $1400/day). In the Atlantic, rates for 260,000mt West Africa to China also remained pegged at WS35 (a round trip TCE of $2.3k/day) and 270,000mt from US Gulf to China saw rates dip about $30k to just under the $4.3m mark ($5.5k/day TCE round-trip).

Suezmax

In the 135,000mt Black Sea/Med market rates were last assessed about 1.5 points down on a week ago, at WS58 (a round-trip TCE of minus $4.7k/day) with reports this morning of a fixture at WS60. In the 130,000mt Nigeria/UK Continent market, rates have eased three points to WS51 (a round trip TCE of $450/day). The market for 140,000mt Basrah/Med remains flat at WS17.

Aframax

In the Mediterranean, the market has again slipped slightly with rates for 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera down two points at WS85 (a TCE of about $1.7k/day basis a round voyage). In Northern Europe, owners have fared a little better with the market for 80,000mt Cross-North Sea improving by seven points to WS95 (about $500/day TCE round trip) while rates for 100,000mt Baltic/UK Continent are back to WS75 (a round trip TCE of $5.3k/day) – up 10 points week-on-week. On the other side of the Atlantic the market has peaked for now and is gradually coming down with rates for 70,000mt Caribbean/US Gulf losing five points to WS102 (a TCE of about $5.6k/day round trip). For 70,000mt US Gulf/UK Continent rates lost four points week-on-week to WS 77.5/78 level (a round trip TCE of $1.5k/day, which obviously would improve considerably basis one way economics).

Clean

Undoubtedly the cyber attack on the Colonial pipeline has been the big news this week. This led to a surge of enquiry from both the Continent to USAC and also for US Gulf loading. Consequently, rates shot up in both markets at the start of the week with the Continent market gaining over 32.5 points peaking at around WS160. However, this was short lived. As the week draws to a close WS130 has been agreed – albeit on 2005 built tonnage. The US Gulf saw even bigger rises with the market at the start of the week, gaining almost 50 points to WS140 and thereafter rates continued to firm with deals concluded in the low WS150s. There was even talk of WS165 having been paid. That said, and not for the first time under these circumstances, a lot of fixtures subsequently failed. With the pipeline seemingly operating again, rates have tailed off significantly with the market now assessed in the low WS120s trans-Atlantic, with Brazil discharge now evaluated in the low WS160s after peaking in the mid WS190s, which was agreed by Petrobras earlier in the week. Brokers also feel there is potential for further falls here. It was somewhat less eventful in the 75,000mt Middle East Gulf/Japan trade with rates largely unchanged in the mid WS70s. The LR1 market was also steady and rates have drifted down 2.5 points over the week to WS92.5. In the MR market, the 35,000mt clean into East Africa was being fixed early in the week at around WS172.5 before easing back to mid to high WS160s here. It was a more positive week for owners in the 30,000mt clean cross Med trade with the market gaining 30 points to WS150 and with the potential for further firming. Uncertain itineraries for tonnage in the Eastern Mediterranean combined with healthy enquiry has given owners the upper hand.
Source: The Baltic Briefing

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