VLCC Market Busier During the Past Week
A busier market saw a few more fixtures this week and rates marginally improved in the East and West. In the Middle East Gulf region the rate for 280,000mt to US Gulf (routing via the Cape/Cape) remains steady at the WS18/18.5 level mark, while 270,000mt to China saw a half point gain to just over WS34 (a round trip TCE of about minus $1.9k per day).
In the Atlantic, rates for 260,000mt West Africa to China rose a modest point to a fraction below WS35 ($860 per day TCE roundtrip) and 270,000mt US Gulf to China rose $156k to $4.131m (a TCE of $1.8k per day roundtrip).
In West Africa more availability of tonnage has had a negative impact and the rate for 130,000mt Nigeria/UK Continent is down 2.5 points to WS52/52.5 level (a round trip TCE of $200 per day). Rates for 135,000mt Black Sea/Med eased two points to WS60 (showing a TCE round trip of minus $5.8k per day).
The Middle East market saw Repsol and Litasco fixing from Basrah to Spain and Greece respectively at around WS23.5 levels although the Baltic Exchange voyage of 140,000mt Basrah/Lavera is still assessed at around the WS24.5/25 level.
In the Mediterranean, 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera dropped a point to just above WS86 (about $1.4k per day TCE roundtrip) while in Northern Europe 80,000mt Cross-North Sea similarly eased a point to WS91.5 (a round trip TCE of minus $5.7k per day). Rates for 100,000mt Baltic/UK Continent fell back three points to WS56 (a TCE of about minus $3.9k per day round trip). Across the Atlantic, the market has continued to climb with rates for 70,000mt Caribbean/US Gulf pushing up seven points to WS113 (a TCE of $8.4k per day round trip) and 70,000mt East Coast Mexico/US Gulf up eight points to WS123 (a round trip TCE of $13.2k per day). Rates for the 70,000 US Gulf/UK Continent trip have also risen, up five points to WS97.5 (a TCE of $6.1k per day round trip, and significantly higher for single trip economics).
The Middle East Gulf has been lacklustre this week putting pressure on a previously firming market. On the LR2s to Japan TC1 has dropped 7.5points to WS106.25, a round-trip TCE of $9,772/day. The LR1s saw some activity mid-week, but after the slow start and a build-up of tonnage rates have been retested down, TC5 55k Middle East Gulf / Japan is now in the WS112.5 region. On the MR’s, 35k Middle East Gulf / East Africa (TC17) also dropped 31 points to WS192, a round-trip TCE of $11,265/day. Despite an increase in enquiry the Mediterranean Handy market has had plenty of available tonnage to handle and TC6 30k Skikda / Lavera is holding around WS110-112.5 mark. The LR2’s looked to have potential to firm. However, this did not materialise and TC15 80k Mediterranean / Japan is still around $1.7m. The Baltic Handy market has followed the MRs this week, and TC9 30k Baltic / UK-Continent dropped WS22.5 to WS120. On the UK-Continent, MR freight levels seem to have reached a floor. TC2 37k UK-Continent / US Atlantic Coast has been repeated at WS100. TC19 37k Amsterdam to Lagos has also seen a similar dip to WS101.67 a round trip TCE of $1,435/day. With vessels still ballasting towards the region, there is potential for rates to be tested further next week. On the LR1s, TC16 60k Amsterdam / Offshore Lome remains static at WS85 for the moment. In the Americas all parties are patiently waiting as the region continues to focus on recovery from the recent bad weather. Freight levels have stayed sideways and TC14 38k US Gulf / UK-Continent is still in the WS60 region whilst TC18 35k from US Gulf / Brazil is pegged around WS100. The MR Atlantic basket TCE dropped from $1386/day to $762/day.
Source: The Baltic Briefing