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Tankers: VLCC Market Steadies


In the Middle East the market for 280,000mt to US Gulf (routing via the Cape/Cape) continues to be assessed around the WS18 mark while rates for 270,000mt to China have remained steady at just above WS31 (a round-trip TCE of minus $4.5k/day). In the Atlantic, rates for 260,000mt West Africa to China remained flat at WS32.5 (minus $2.1k/day TCE) and 270,000mt US Gulf to China has stuck at around the $4.035k level (a TCE of about $1.3k/day).


In the 130,000mt Nigeria/UK Continent market rates have improved by two points to the WS49.5 level (a round-trip TCE of about minus $1.3k/day), with Spanish charterers taking a TMS Tankers vessel at WS50 for a voyage Nigeria/Spain. This slight firming has had a knock-on effect in the 135,000mt Black Sea/Med market where rates have moved up a point to WS58.5-59 level (a round-trip TCE of about minus $5.4k/day, although reported fixtures here have been scarce. The market for 140,000mt Basrah/Med has gained seven points to WS29.5 after ENI went on subs at WS30.


In the Mediterranean, the market has been steady and rates for 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera remain at WS90 (showing a round-trip TCE of about $3k/day). In Northern Europe the market for 80,000mt Cross-North Sea got pushed up three points to WS94-95 level (about minus $1.1k/day TCE round trip), while in the 100,000mt Baltic/UK Continent market a similar increase was seen with rates now at the WS66.5 level (a round trip TCE of minus $600/day). Across the Atlantic the market has continued along the latest floor as rates for 70,000mt Caribbean/US Gulf and East Coast Mexico/US Gulf have remained steady around the WS80 mark again (a TCE of about minus $2.6k/day and minus $2kpd round trip respectively). The 70,000mt US Gulf/UK Continent market remains between WS70 and WS72.5 (which shows a TCE of about minus $1.3k basis a roundtrip, turning positive basis single trip economics).


In the Middle East Gulf it has been an uneventful week on both LR2s and LR1s with the rates static. The market for 75,000mt to Japan has settled in the mid WS70s, while on the 55,000mt size, rates have likewise been flat at just below WS90. The MRs have remained under downward pressure and rates for 35,000mt in to East Africa have drifted down from mid WS150s at the start of the week to WS150, with the market even assessed now at just below this level. For owners trading MRs from the Continent it has been a lacklustre week, with rates for 37,000mt to USAC largely unchanged at around WS110 region. However, there are a number of cargoes outstanding as owners have been holding back hoping for further upside. A Brofjorden cargo, which pays a premium over ARA load, is said to have been fixed at WS117.5. The 38,000mt backhaul market from US Gulf to UKC started the week at WS90 but charterers have successfully been chipping away at rates and the market here has now eased to close to mid WS80s. Runs to Brazil have been less affected with the market steady in the very low WS130s. For owners plying the 30,000mt clean trade in the Mediterranean, it has been another frustrating week with rates slipping almost five points to WS120 with a Canaries discharge covered at WS125.
Source: Baltic Exchange

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