The VLCC market remains in the doldrums with little joy or optimism for owners on the income front. In the Middle East region, rates for 280,000mt to USG via the Cape/Cape routing were unchanged again at the WS18/18.5 mark, while rates for 270,000mt to China slipped half a point from last Friday’s level to just below WS31 (a TCE of about $1,500/day). In the Atlantic region, the market for 260,000mt West Africa to China eased a single point to WS34 ($3,600/day TCE) and 270,000mt US Gulf to China fell about $40,000 from a week ago to around $4.24m level.
Rates for 135,000mt Black Sea/Med market fell WS4 points to between WS67.5/70 level (about $5,000/day TCE), while the 130,000mt Nigeria/UK Continent market lost over 15 points to low WS50s (about $4,000/day TCE). There was no change in rates for 140,000mt Basrah/Med, which remained in the low WS20s region.
Ceyhan/Lavera has remained unchanged this week at WS77.5 basis 80,000mt and in Northern Europe rates for same size cross-North Sea remain at WS77.5 (a TCE of -$6,700/day). In the 100,000mt Baltic/UK-Continent market, rates eased a couple of points to between WS55/57.5 level. On the other side of the Atlantic, having shed over 10 points early in the week to below WS70, the market has picked up a little and is now assessed in the low WS70s, down nine points week-on-week. For the 70,000mt US Gulf to UK Continent trip rates took a seven-point dive early and recovered to where they were at the start of the week, in the low WS70s.
Charterers have managed to squeeze rates down a further 2.5 points in the Middle East Gulf/Japan market for LR2s to sit now at WS67.5. In contrast, the LR1s have made a very modest gain nudging up a similar amount WS77.5 for 55,000mt. This is partly on the back of higher bunker costs but also uncertain itineraries on tonnage. For MR tonnage on AG/East Africa, it has been one-way traffic with the market sliding 11 points to WS120 region. For MR owners trading Continent/USAC it has been a disappointing week due to ballasters from the USA. As such, the market has dropped almost 10 points to mid WS120s with the expectation of further downward pressure. The backhaul trade for MRs from US Gulf to UK-Continent has been steady at an uninspiring WS70/72.5 level for 38,000mt. The only crumb of comfort here being that the market started the week at WS70, so one can argue it has gained around 2.5 points. For US Gulf to Brazil it has been an uneventful week with rates hovering at or close to WS112.5 level basis 38,000mt. In the cross-Mediterranean trades it was another slow week as rates weakened further due to excessive tonnage in both east and west Mediterranean, from WS140 at the start of the week to around WS120 level now.
Source: Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide