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Tankers: VLCC Market Gains More Ground This Week


Another week of modest gains from both Middle East and Atlantic regions. Rates for 280,000mt Middle East Gulf to US Gulf (Cape/Cape routing) are assessed a point firmer at WS21.5 level, while 270,000mt Middle East Gulf to China rose 3 points to WS43.2 (a roundtrip TCE of $2.2k/day). In the Atlantic, rates for 260,000mt West Africa to China rose 2 points to almost WS45.5-46 level (a TCE of $6.3k/day roundtrip) and 270,000mt US Gulf to China is $10k up on last week at $5.4875m (a TCE of $8.9k per day roundtrip).


In West Africa a tightening position list and higher demand saw the rate for 130,000mt Nigeria/UK Continent climb 6 points to WS78 (showing a roundtrip TCE of about $8.2k/day) while the rate for 135,000mt Black Sea/Med rose 7 points to WS82 (a TCE roundtrip of about $3.9k per day). The Middle East market was busy again and the rate for 140,000mt Basrah/Lavera pushed up 5 points to WS50.


In the Mediterranean, the market was firmer and the rate for 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera recovered about 6 points to WS106 ($6.1k per day TCE roundtrip) while in Northern Europe the market for 80,000mt Cross-North Sea and 100,000mt Baltic/UK Continent remained flat at WS107.5 level ($450/day TCE roundtrip) and WS80 (a TCE of about $4.5k per day roundtrip) respectively. Across the Atlantic, the market peaked early in the week and has eased slightly. Rates for 70,000mt US Gulf/UK Continent slipped 2 points to just below WS132 (a TCE of $12k/day roundtrip) while the shorter local voyages dropped 5 points each; 70,000mt Caribbean/US Gulf is now WS146.5 (a TCE of $15.2k/day roundtrip) and 70,000mt East Coast Mexico/US Gulf is now WS151.25 (translating to a round-trip TCE of $18.9k/day).


The Middle East Gulf has appeared to be in a state of flux this week. Freight rates on the bigger size vessels have remained largely stable with just enough open enquiry to maintain the same. On the LR2’s TC1 rose 2.16 points to WS 92.16, a round-trip TCE of $2,686/day. The LR1’s have stood fast and TC5 55k Middle East Gulf / Japan is still WS125 a round-trip TCE of $7,970/day. The MR’s have been tested down a little and 35k Middle East Gulf / East Africa (TC17) is now WS185 (-WS5.42).

The Mediterranean Handy market saw reduced enquiry in West Med at the beginning of the week forcing a downturn in freight levels TC6 30kt Skikda / Lavera is now at WS 166.63 (- WS 15.87). The LR2’s, TC15 80k Mediterranean / Japan held steady at around the $1.7m mark.

The Baltic Handy market saw good activity throughout this week, the uptick in enquiry has driven freight upwards, TC9 30k Baltic / UK-Continent is now WS 151.43 (+ WS 26.07)

On the UK-Continent MR’s have been active, and assisted by a busy Mediterranean, saw a midweek spike in freight to WS130 for TC2 37k UK-Continent / US Atlantic Coast then resettling at the end of the week at WS 119.72. TC19 37k Amsterdam to Lagos followed a similar pattern ending up at WS120.36.

On the LR1’s, TC16 60k Amsterdam / Offshore Lomé saw an optimistic boost to WS100 this week but looks to have plateaued there for the moment.

In the Americas moderate activity stemmed a similarly modest rise in freight levels. TC14 38k US Gulf / UK-Continent has come up to WS 73.21(+WS 3.57) and TC18 38k from US Gulf / Brazil rose WS 2.86 to WS111.07.

The MR Atlantic basket TCE rose from $1404/day to $2202/day.
Source: The Baltic Exchange

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