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Tankers: VLCC Market Slightly Lower Week-on-Week

In the Middle East the market for 280,000mt to US Gulf (routing via the Cape/Cape) is assessed about half a point weaker at just below WS19. Rates for 270,000mt to China have dipped, last assessed at WS34-34.5 level (showing a round-trip TCE of minus $100/day). However, reports overnight detail a couple of fixtures on subjects to Chinese charterers in the WS32.5-33.5 range. In the Atlantic, rates for 260,000mt West Africa to China are assessed a point lower at WS35-35.5 region ($2,130/day TCE) with very little fixture activity on the route again this week. It’s worth noting that Brazilian charterers are reported on subjects with Bahri’s 2017 built ‘Rimthan’ 270,000mt at WS32.8 for a voyage Brazil to North China. Meanwhile, 270,000mt for a trip from US Gulf to China saw rate assessments drop $217k to $4.2m (a TCE of about $4.2k/day).


In the 135,000mt Black Sea/Med market, rates remained static at the WS57.5 level (a round-trip TCE of about minus $5.8k/day). In the 130,000mt Nigeria/UK Continent market rates eased a point to the WS47.5 mark (a round trip TCE of minus $1.6k/day). The market for 140,000mt Basrah/Med is rated a point higher at WS24, while Turkish charterers earlier this week went on subjects with Sovcomflot’s 2010 built SCF Baikal at WS24.5 basis the revised Worldscale flat rate and owners picking up the port costs at Basrah.


In the Mediterranean, the market has fallen with rates for 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera losing four points to WS85-86 region (a TCE of about $1.5k/day basis a round voyage). In Northern Europe rates have dipped, with the market for 80,000mt Cross-North Sea three points lower than last week at WS90 (about minus $3.6k/day TCE round trip). Rates for 100,000mt Baltic/UK Continent are down three points at WS65 (a round trip TCE of about minus $450/day). Across the Atlantic, the market has continued to weaken with a build up of prompt tonnage in the US Gulf. Rates for 70,000mt Caribbean/US Gulf lost four points to WS80 (a TCE of about minus $1700/day round trip). Meanwhile, the newly published 70,000mt East Coast Mexico to US Gulf route shed five points to WS80 (about minus $1150/day TCE). Owners demonstrated some eagerness to fix the 70,000mt US Gulf/UK Continent route, thereby dropping the market nine points to the WS68 level (which shows a TCE of minus $1.6k basis a round trip, obviously basis single trip economics this would be a positive number).


In the Middle East Gulf LR2 owners have faced a flat market with rates for 75,000mts to Japan stuck at WS80 level. The LR1s have seen rates come under downward pressure with the market for 55,000mts easing from just below mid WS90s to sit now at close to WS 87.75 region. The negative sentiment here has also filtered through to the MRs with rates starting the week just shy of WS175. However, these have gradually eased down with ENOC now reported to have taken Zodiac tonnage at WS162.5 for 35,000mts in to East Africa.

For owners trading MRs from the Continent it was a slightly better week with rates for 37,000mts to USAC initially firming to WS135, which is where the market has presently settled. There was no such luck coming the other way with rates for 38,000mts from US Gulf to UK Continent easing five points to WS65 and runs to Brazil have been hovering in the WS105 region.

For owners plying the 30,000mts clean trade in the Mediterranean it has been a week to forget with charterers holding the upper hand as rates have been constantly eroded, falling from high WS150s to mid WS140s, with both Spanish Med and Sicily loaders subsequently fixed at this level and brokers feel there is potential for further weakening.
Source: The Baltic Briefing

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