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The Shipping Tribune

Tankers: VLCC Market Stabilizes




LR2 freight levels in the MEG rose optimistically early on this week only to then come to a halt. TC1 topped out at WS145 up from WS136 to then resettle at WS142.78 at time of writing. At the WS145 mark the Baltic TCE ticked over the $30,000/day round trip. Meanwhile a run to the UK-Continent on TC20 gradually hopped up from $3,810,000 to $3,950,000.

West of Suez, Mediterranean/East LR2’s saw the TC15 index for second week on week continue along in the low $2,900,000 region.


In the MEG, LR1’s have led the pack this week with a consistently firming sentiment. The TC5 index added 24.06 points to WS169.69 and TC8 hopped up $135,000 to $3,420,000.

On the UK-Continent, TC16 held resolute in the mid WS160’s all week with the TCE hovering around $31,000-32,000/day level.


Despite an increase in activity on MEG MR’s this week and a subsequently strengthening market the TC17 index has held in the WS290 region all week.

UK-Continent MR’s after the significant improvement on last week look to have stagnated at current levels. After reaching WS182.75 early in the week, up from WS172 the TC2 index has now been suspended there for the last three days. TC19 has mirrored TC2 as per usual practice and currently sits at WS190.

In the USG MR’s have come under a significant amount of pressure this week. Even with Panama canal delay days still in the double figures TC14 has shed 34.16 points to WS94.17 and TC18 has gone from WS228.33 to WS180. Similarly on a run to the Caribbean on TC21 freight has dropped 43% this week to $516,667. The Baltic TCE’s at these levels are notably sombre, especially TC14 at only $554/day.

The MR Atlantic Triangulation Basket TCE dropped from $24,941 to $18,717.


In the Mediterranean, Handymax’s have resurged optimistically this week, tonnage has been tight and enquiry high leading the TC6 index to add 75.56 points to WS275.56. Up on the UK-Continent, the TC23 index yet again rattled along at the WS190 mark.


The market remained static this week with rates being held, presumably on the floor. The rate for 270,000mt Middle East Gulf to China was maintained at just below WS37 corresponding to a daily round-trip TCE of $4,244 basis the Baltic Exchange’s vessel description. The 280,000mt Middle East Gulf to US Gulf trip (via the cape/cape routing) was assessed at WS22.89, much like the level seen a week ago.

For the Atlantic market, the 260,000mt West Africa/China rate hovered around the WS43 (which shows a round voyage TCE of $13,725/day). The rate for 270,000mt US Gulf/China climbed a meagre $25,000 to $7,116,667 ($19,347/day round trip TCE).


Suezmaxes in West Africa continue to flirt with the bottom of the market. The rate for the 130,000mt Nigeria/Rotterdam trip lost a solitary point to WS71 (a daily round-trip TCE of $14,500). In the Mediterranean and Black Sea region the 135,000mt CPC/Med route has been held at the WS72 level (showing a daily TCE of $6,800 round-trip), although tonnage has started to build up again potentially leading to softer sentiment both here and in West Africa. In the Middle East, the rate for 140,000mt Basrah/Lavera eased 3.5 points to a fraction below WS56.


In the North Sea, the rate for the 80,000mt Hound Point/Wilhelmshaven route modestly gained two points to WS95 (still showing a negative round-trip daily TCE, about -$600). In the Mediterranean market the rate for 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera slipped five points to about WS85 (a daily round trip TCE of $3,500).

Across the Atlantic, in the Stateside Aframax market, the rate for 70,000mt East Coast Mexico/US Gulf eased almost two points to a shade under WS95 (which shows a TCE of $2,800/day round trip) and for 70,000mt Covenas/US Gulf the market rate has had 3.5 points shaved off it to WS93.44 (a round-trip TCE of $5,000/day). The rate for the trans-Atlantic route of 70,000mt US Gulf/Rotterdam has lost about nine points to WS98.75 (a round trip TCE of $10,273/day).
Source: The Baltic Exchange
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