Tankers: Fixture Activity in the VLCC Market Sporadic
With at least half of the VLCC market participants meeting in Dubai this week, fixture activity has been sporadic, with rates slipping slightly. However, the market is reported to have bottomed and is now rebounding. This is evidenced by a couple of fixtures reported on subjects at improved levels. 270,000mt Middle East Gulf (MEG) to China was last rated at WS 75, down two points week-on-week, although at time of writing, WS 76 is reported on subjects. Meanwhile, 280,000mt MEG to the US Gulf (USG), basis Cape/Cape, has fallen a couple of points to WS 45. However, a newbuilding is reported fixed at WS 39.5. In the Atlantic basin, 260,000mt West Africa to China was last assessed a couple of points lower than a week ago at WS 80 level. However, WS 83.5 is now being reported on subjects. The market for 270,000mt USG to China is rated $1.3m lower at about $9.5m.
The 130,000mt West Africa to UK-Continent market recovered about 25 points, with rates now in the WS 110/112.5 region. 135,000mt Black Sea to the Mediterranean improved around 7.5 points to WS 125/127.5 level. Rates for 140,000mt Basrah to the Mediterranean were flat in the mid WS 40s.
A recovery was seen West of Suez this week, where rates for 80,000mt Ceyhan to the Mediterranean gained 70 points to WS 157.5/160 level. While the 80,000mt North Sea to UK-Continent trade saw rates rocket 90 points to WS 182.5. On the other side of the Atlantic, rates for 70,000mt Caribbean to USG rose 30 points to WS 155 and a 70,000mt USG to Mediterranean trip improved similarly to now sit at WS 140.
It has been a volatile week in the 75,000mt Arabian Gulf (AG) to Japan trade, with rates losing around 7.5 points, before recovering to WS 112.5/115 region. It was a similar scenario in the LR1 market, with 55,000mt to Japan starting the week in the high WS 130s, before dipping down to WS 130. It then recovered to WS 140 and subsequently WS 145 has been agreed. In the 37,000mt Continent to US Atlantic Coast trade, a plethora of tonnage caused rates to slip a further 10 points to WS 120. It was a steady week for owners in the 38,000mt USG to UK-Continent backhaul trade, with rates hovering in the mid-WS 120s.
Source: The Baltic Exchange