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VLCCs: Tanker Market on a Roll

With 10 days having passed since the Saudi oilfield attacks, the Middle East Gulf market had calmed, and rates dipped. Then, the next fuse was lit, with a USA blacklisting on a major Chinese shipowner for breaking US imposed sanctions on Iranian crude oil carriage. Rates then got propelled upwards, as charterers sought to replace period contract coverage. 270,000mt to China voyages fell about seven points earlier in the week, then rose about 12-13 points to WS 75 level. For 280,000mt to US Gulf, basis Cape to Cape, rates are assessed 3.5 points higher at WS 34.5 level. Meanwhile a similar story was occurring for the 260,000mt West Africa to China trips, following the easing, then firming, market, with rates up 3.5 points at WS 74 level. Rates for 270,000mt US Gulf to China rose about $400k week-on-week, to now sit at between $8.45/8.5 million.

Rates for 130,000mt West Africa to UK Continet dropped about 10 points to WS 85, as cargoes were in short supply for natural fixing dates. The 135,000mt Black Sea to Mediterranean trade added another three to four points over the week to settle at WS 95 level. In the Middle East Gulf, 140,000mt Basrah to the Mediterranean lost ground to return to very low WS 30s level.

The Mediterranean market was on a bull-run this week, with 80,000mt Ceyhan to the Mediterranean gaining another 25 points or so to WS 140 level. In Northern Europe 80,000mt North Sea to UK-Continent trade firmed a further seven points to WS 127 region. For 100,000mt, Baltic to UK-Continent, a similar rise was seen, to WS 107.5/110 level. On the other side of the Atlantic, rates remained flat, with 70,000mt Caribbean to the US Gulf at WS 150 level and 70,000mt US Gulf to the Mediterranean hovering around WS 140.

The market for 75,000mt Middle East Gulf to Japan eased a further 2.5-3.5 points to WS 92.5-95 level. In the 55,000mt to Japan trade, owners managed to claw back about five points to WS 100-102.5 level. In the 37,000 clean Continent to US Atlantic Coast, market rates were stable at WS 95-97.5 level. The 38,000mt US Gulf to UK-Continent backhaul trade also remained flat at WS 70 region.
Source: The Baltic Exchange

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