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Tankers: Clean Market Softens, While VLCCs Firm Up This Week


LRs in the Middle East Gulf have again softened this week with available tonnage accumulating and open enquiry reducing. TC1 75k Middle East Gulf / Japan has lost 36.07 points to WS226.43 and its round trip TCE dropping just below $35k/day. TC5 55k Middle East Gulf / Japan has also taken a similar hit and dipped 28.22 points to WS273.57. An LR1 trip west (TC8) has also lost nearly $10/pmt this week and currently sits at $65/pmt ($4.225m).

TC17 35kt Middle East Gulf / East Africa has traded softer this week we believe off the back of the LR market direction. The index has dropped 15.42 points to WS369.58.

In the west, the LR2s have been following a similar pattern to the AG market. TC15 has dropped to below $4m for the first time since the beginning of May, currently pegged at $3.98m (-$650K). The LR1s of TC16 look to have plateaued at WS240 for the moment.

MRs in North West Europe have been sideways/soft this week with a fluctuating balance between available tonnage and demand. TC2 37k UK-Continent / US Atlantic Coast came off 13.34 points to WS329.44 and TC19 37k UK-Continent / West Africa followed suit to WS340 (-12.14).

In the US Gulf freight rates have been volatile this week. TC14 38k US Gulf / UK-Continent has settled back down at WS275 for the moment after peaking around WS300 midweek. TC18 38k US Gulf / Brazil behaved similarly and ended up at WS372.86 after topping out at WS399.

The MR Atlantic basket TCE dropped from $56,016/day to $50,570/day.

In the Handymax sector, enquiry slowed on TC6 with a geographical spread opening in the market and the index dropped 82.13 points to WS446.18. In the Baltic TC9 managed to tick up five points to WS429.29.


VLCC rates were very slightly firmer this week, although it appears the higher bunker price have nullified these rate rises in terms of income. 280,000mt Middle East Gulf/USG (via Cape of Good Hope) is assessed half a point higher at WS24.7, with Exxon reported on subs for a trip to the Continent via the Suez Canal at WS24.75. Meanwhile, rates for the 270,000mt Middle East Gulf/China trip improved by just over half a point to WS41.6 (a round trip TCE of minus $17,800 per day). In the Atlantic market the rate for 260,000mt West Africa/China improved almost 1.5 points to WS45 (minus $13,100 per day round-trip TCE) while the rate for 270,000mt US Gulf/China voyage improved by $43,750 to $5.33m (a round voyage TCE of minus $15,600 per day).


Rates for the 135,000mt Black Sea/Augusta route fell 1.5 points this week to just below WS113 (a round-trip TCE of $18,000 per day), with one fixture reported on this route – an oil trader relet to Exxon at WS107.5. With a very active Atlantic market, specifically West African, South American and US Gulf load ports, rates for 130,000mt Nigeria/UKC have climbed up 12.5 points to WS103 (a round-trip TCE of about $14,100 per day). In the Middle East, fixing activity has been steady this week while the list of available tonnage has dwindled. This is in part due to the more attractive Atlantic market pulling ballasters from the East to the West. Consequently rates for 140,000mt Basrah/West Mediterranean have leapt almost 12 points to about WS56. Several ships were reported on subjects to a Turkish refiner alongside reports of French and British oil companies also fixing into Europe from the Middle East Gulf.


The 80,000mt Ceyhan/Mediterranean market lost another three points this week to about WS124 (a round-trip TCE of about $9,300). In Northern Europe rates remained flat, at about WS140 for the 80,000mt Hound Point/UK Continent trip, and just below WS165 for the 100,000mt Primorsk/UK Cont route which shows a round trip TCE of $15,800/day and $35,700/day respectively.

Across the Atlantic, the markets continued on an upward trajectory. Rates for the shorter-haul 70,000mt EC Mexico/US Gulf route jumped 26 points to between WS215-217.5 range (a round-trip TCE of $35,500 per day) and for the 70,000mt Caribbean/US Gulf route rates ascended 25 points to WS205 (a round-trip TCE of about $28,400 per day). For the transatlantic trip of 70,000mt US Gulf/UK Continent, rates rose another 26 points close to WS195 ($25,700 per day round-tip TCE). This is enticing some owners to ballast from Southern Europe and Mediterranean regions.
Source: The Baltic Exchange

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