Tankers: VLCC Market in the Doldrums
In the Middle East the market for 280,000mt to US Gulf (routing via the Cape/Cape) continues to be assessed around the WS18-18.5 mark while rates for 270,000mt to China have remained flat at WS31.5 (showing a round-trip TCE of minus $5.6k/day). In the Atlantic, rates for 260,000mt West Africa to China improved by almost two points to WS34.5-35 level (a TCE of minus $1.1k/day round trip) and 270,000mt US Gulf to China is still being rated at $3.95m (a roundtrip TCE of about minus $670/day).
In the 130,000mt Nigeria/UK Continent market rates have gained 2.5 points to WS52 (a round-trip TCE of about minus $1.1k/day). Meanwhile in the Mediterranean rates for 135,000mt Black Sea/Med remain pegged at WS60 (a round-trip TCE of minus $7k/day). The market for 140,000mt Basrah/Med took a 3.5 point hit this week and now sits at just shy of WS25.
In the Mediterranean, the market softened with rates for 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera losing 4.5 points to WS88 (showing a round-trip TCE of $1.3k/day). In Northern Europe the market remained relatively flat with the rate for 80,000mt Cross-North Sea maintaining WS93 (a round trip TCE of minus $5.5k/day). A similar sentiment was seen in the 100,000mt Baltic/UK Continent market with rates unmoved at WS60 (a round trip TCE of minus $1.3k/day). Across the Atlantic the market has improved a little, mostly due to a tightening of tonnage positions in the short term for voyages from East Coast Mexico. Rates for 70,000mt Caribbean/US Gulf are up seven points to WS85 (a round-trip TCE of minus $1.5k/day), while the East Coast Mexico/US Gulf market gained 12 points to WS90 (a TCE of about $850/day round trip). The market for 70,000mt US Gulf/UK Continent trips saw a three point gain to WS 72.5 (which shows a TCE of about minus $2.2k basis a roundtrip, turning positive basis single trip economics).
The clean market continues to lack direction this week though there were some positive moves in the East and as a result the BCTI rose from 445 points to 464 by publication. The Middle East was slightly positive with LR2s to Japan (TC1) rising by over 13 WS points to 88.33, a TCE of $3,868. There have been a number of LR2 fixtures this week at improving numbers from WS80 to NAVIG8 PROVIDENCE (110 kdwt / 2018) placed on subjects for AG/Japan at WS90. The LR1s from MEG to Japan gaining 11 points to WS90 and a TCE of $2,233, and MEG to UK-Cont largely flat at $/t 20.63. LR1s were otherwise flat with no change on TC16 Amsterdam to offshore Lome at WS80.
The MR Atlantic basket TCE fell from $5,620 to $4,696, the Pacific MR TCE was weaker at $471 to close the week slightly up at $682. In the Atlantic the Rotterdam to New York TC2 37k route was down 1.11 to settle at WS 114.17, and the US Gulf to Continent TC14 38k route was down 1.79 to WS 79.64. Following falls on TC18 for 35k from US Gulf to Brazil from WS121 to WS118 and on TC19 37k Amsterdam to Lagos, also from WS121 to WS118 the best paying MR routes were both in the Pacific. TC7 35k Singapore to East Coast Australia at WS119.86 which has a TCE of $2,069 and the TC10 40k route from South Korea to Vancouver-Rosarito at $/t 19.48 which returns a TCE of $2,741.
Source: The Baltic Exchange