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Tankers: VLCC Market Eases Again


The market eased again in both the Middle East and the Atlantic. For the 280,000mt Middle East Gulf to US Gulf (Cape/Cape routing) trip rates have dipped from about W21.5 to the WS21 level, while the rate for 270,000mt Middle East Gulf to China slipped 1.5 points to WS40 (a roundtrip TCE of $731/day). In the Atlantic market, rates for 260,000mt West Africa to China dropped two points to a shade under WS41 (a TCE of $2.9k/day roundtrip) and 270,000mt US Gulf to China lost a little over $100k to $5.253m (a TCE of $8.5k per day roundtrip).


In West Africa, the market has steadied with the rate for 130,000mt Nigeria/UK Continent modestly dipping and then recovering to end the week up a point at WS58 (showing a roundtrip TCE of about $2.9k/day). The market for 135,000mt Black Sea/Med was flat at WS64.5-65 level (a TCE roundtrip of about minus $2.9k per day). In the Middle East Gulf minimal activity again has led to no movement in the rate for 140,000mt Basrah/Lavera, which remains a fraction above the WS34 level.


In the Mediterranean, the market for 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera was lowered again with rates losing two points to just below W95 ($5.4k per day TCE roundtrip). In Northern Europe the market for 80,000mt Cross-North Sea fell away six points again to WS97 region (a TCE of about minus $940/day). The rate for 100,000mt Baltic/UK Continent eased a mere 3.5 points to just under WS78 (a TCE of about $7.6k per day roundtrip). On the other side of the Atlantic, the market returned after the Thanksgiving Holiday and straight back in to a firming market. The 70,000mt Caribbean/US Gulf rate rose six points to WS120 (a TCE of $10.5k/day roundtrip) and the rate for 70,000mt East Coast Mexico/US Gulf climbed nine points to WS124 ($13.5k/day TCE roundtrip). The market for the 70,000mt US Gulf/UK Continent trip continued the positivity of the previous week and gained another nine points to midway between WS125 and WS127.5 (a TCE of $14.3k/day roundtrip however, as usual, basis one-way economics this improves significantly).


The Middle East Gulf has been relatively lacklustre this week and freight rates generally sideways for the most part. On the LR2s TC1 has dipped to WS108.21 (-2.86) a round trip TCE of $8287/day. The LR1s activity has improved at the end of the week and TC5 55k Middle East Gulf / Japan is up 4.64 points to WS115.71 a roundtrip TCE of $6640/day. The MRs have also had an incremental improvement and 35k Middle East Gulf / East Africa (TC17) has inched up WS3.3 points to WS185. In the Mediterranean, the Handymax activity continued to put ships on subs this week without moving rates. TC6 30kt Skikda / Lavera is stable at WS 140 (- WS 0.36). The LR2s, TC15 80k Mediterranean / Japan has been under pressure and seen rates slide to the $2.1m mark. The Baltic Handy market has been busy with multiple cargoes hitting the market this week. TC9 30k Baltic / UK-Continent is now WS 185.71 (+WS 14.64). On the UK-Continent, MRs have had good activity levels throughout this week and another uptick in freight rates. TC2 37k UK-Continent / US Atlantic Coast is currently marked at WS168.83 (+WS4.4). TC19 37k Amsterdam to Lagos has also continued upwards and is now WS170 up 1.43 points. On the LR1s, TC16 60k Amsterdam / Offshore Lomé has been largely unchanged throughout the course of the week despite the busy MRs and is now WS137.93 (-WS2.07). In the Americas, after a slow start and both runs bottoming out, around WS80 for TC14 and WS132.5 for TC18 improved activity is now inducing an upturn in freight. TC14 38k US Gulf / UK-Continent is now WS 83.57 and TC18 38k from US Gulf / Brazil WS 134.64. The MR Atlantic basket TCE rose from $9525/day to $10739/day.
Source: The Baltic Briefing

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