Tankers: VLCC Market Steady During the Past Week
In the Middle East the market for 280,000mt Middle East to US Gulf trip (routing via the Cape/Cape) is assessed flat at WS19, while rates for 270,000mt to China have eased one point to about WS34, which shows a round-trip TCE of about $965.
In the Atlantic rates for 260,000mt West Africa to China also remained static at the WS34.5 level, a round-trip TCE of about $2.6k/day and 270,000mt from US Gulf to China saw rates fall around $150k to $4.23m (about $5.7k/day TCE round-trip).
In the 135,000mt Black Sea/Med market rates have steadied at WS65 (~$1.2k/day TCE). In the 130,000mt Nigeria/UK Continent market, rates improved about three points to close to WS60 (~$5.6k/day TCE round-trip). The market for 140,000mt Basrah/Med remained flat at WS21 where a couple of fixtures were reported this week at WS19.5 by a Spanish charterer and WS22.5 by an oil major.
In the Mediterranean, the market has eased again – albeit slightly – with rates for 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera dipping about 1.5 points to high WS70s (a TCE of about -$500/day basis a round voyage). In Northern Europe, the market for 80,000mt Cross-North Sea remained at WS86 level (-$3.3k/day TCE) while rates for 100,000mt Baltic/UK Continent modestly gained about 3.5 points to the WS62.5 region (about $500/day TCE).
On the other side of the Atlantic, the market firmed during the week with rates for 70,000mt Caribbean/US Gulf climbing 25 points to WS107.5 (a TCE of about $8.4k/day). For 70,000mt US Gulf/UK Continent rates improved by about 13.5 points to WS94/95 level.
Charterers have generally been in the driving seat this week and have been quick to exploit the negative sentiment in the market. In the 75,000mt market from Middle East Gulf to Japan rates continued their losing streak and lost 7.5 points to WS80. It was a similar story on the LR1s with rates for 55,000mt to Japan down around 7.5 points to WS106.5 with potential to soften further.
In the 37,000mt Cont/USAC trade the week started on a more positive note with rates marginally firmer at around WS135 and a Mongstad load went at WS142.5 . However, enquiry quickly tailed off. And, with no shortage of tonnage in the natural fixing window, rates soon came under downward pressure with WS115 agreed. A couple of cargoes subsequently went on handysized tonnage. After a relet with last cargo base, oil did WS105 from the Baltic. This was also subsequently agreed for a Continent loader. Unsurprisingly, the weakness in the market here was reflected in the Continent/West Africa trade, which eased 27.5 points to WS117.5.
Charterers were again able to chip away at rates in the 35,000mt AG/East Africa trade with market easing five points to WS140 region. The 38,000mt backhaul trade from US Gulf to UKContinent had yet another slow week with the market drifting down 7.5 points to WS65. Meanwhile, the US Gulf to Brazil trade slipped around 3.25 points to WS108.75.
It was an insipid week in the 30,000mt clean cross Med trade West Med loaders achieving WS145 level while East Med saw slightly higher rates of low WS150s and Black Sea was last covered at WS165 region.
Source: The Baltic Briefing