Tankers: More Gains for MRs, Steadiness for VLCCs
LRs in the Middle East Gulf began the week with soft sentiment. However, good activity levels look to have slowed the downturn for the moment. TC1 75,000 Middle East Gulf / Japan, despite losing 20.71 points to WS269.29, is still returning a shade over $50,000 per day, round-trip TCE. TC5 55,000 Middle East Gulf / Japan has not dipped quite to the same extent, only 7.85 points to WS302.85 and LR1 demand west (TC8) has been relatively stable, holding around the $4.8 million mark. TC17 35,000 Middle East Gulf / East Africa has traded sideways / soft this week with reports of owners waiting for June stems emerging. The index has dropped five points to WS385.83.
In the west, the LRs have been flat this week and the prior boost, which was driven by the Arabian Gulf market firming, looks to have lost steam. TC15 has resettled at $4.75 million for the moment and TC16 remained level around WS240 all week.
Activity looks to have been consistent through the week and ship availability balanced for enquiry levels on the MRs in North West Europe. TC2 37,000 UK-Continent / US Atlantic Coast and TC19 37,000 UK-Continent / West Africa have both dropped incrementally, but TC2 is still marked around the mid WS340s and TC19 in the mid WS350s.
In the USG there has been a flurry for fixing this week. And, in combination with other factors such as Panama canal delays, TC14 38,000 US Gulf / UK-Continent has risen 77.85 points to WS247.14 and TC18 38k US Gulf / Brazil climbed 94.29 points to WS314.29 this week.
The MR Atlantic basket TCE rose from $36,771 per day to $47,564 per day. The Handymax TC6 has seen a surge in demand, reflected in the index jumping 61.88 points to WS361.88. In the Baltic, TC9 stayed stable at around WS425 all week.
VLCC rates held steady mostly this week. 280,000mt Middle East Gulf/US Gulf (via Cape of Good Hope) is assessed a point higher at WS24, while the 270,000mt Middle East Gulf/China trip remained flat at WS40 (a round-trip TCE of minus $16,800 per day). In the Atlantic arena the rate for 260,000mt West Africa/China stayed at a fraction below WS43.5 (minus $13,000 per day round-trip TCE). Meanwhile, an improvement of $143,750 was seen for the 270,000mt US Gulf/China voyage where the market is now assessed at $5.275m (a round voyage TCE of minus $13,900 per day).
Rates for the 135,000mt Novorossiysk/Augusta fell a further 10 points to between the WS115-117.5 7 region (a round-trip TCE of $20,100 per day), whilst in West Africa the 130,000mt Nigeria/UK-Continent route rates slipped 2.5 points to WS85.5, which shows a round-trip TCE of about $4,300 per day. For the 140,000mt Basrah/West Mediterranean route the rates have dipped a point to just under WS44.
The 80,000mt Ceyhan/Mediterranean market shed another 14 points this week to WS127.5 (a round-trip TCE of about $10,900). In Northern Europe the rate for 80,000mt Hound Point/UK-Continent is 3.5 points lower than a week ago at a shade below WS140 (a round#trip TCE of $15,900 per day). In the Baltic Sea the war in Ukraine, and the resultant Russian sanctions, continued to have an effect on fixture activity on the 100,000mt Primorsk/UK Continent route where the rate is now assessed 39 points lower this week at between WS162.5-165 (a round-voyage TCE of $35,000 per day). The only fixture noted was Litasco reportedly chartering a Greek controlled Aframax at WS165 for the UK Continent option. Across the Atlantic, a different scenario is playing out. After a slow start to the week the market jumped on Thursday. Rates for the shorter-haul 70,000mt EC Mexico/US Gulf route leapt 40 points to above WS182.5 (a round-trip TCE of $22,800 per day) and for the 70,000mt Caribbean/US Gulf trip rates climbed 35 points to over WS173 (a round-trip TCE of about $17,300 per day). For the transatlantic trip of 70,000mt US Gulf/UK Continent, rates were lifted 20 points to just push through the WS157.5 mark ($13,900 per day round-tip TCE).
Source: The Baltic Exchange