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Freight for Americas Aframaxes tumbles 22% on ample availability

Freight for Aframaxes loading in the Americas tumbled Thursday, with rates dropping 22.2% for upcoast runs and 18.4% for trans-Atlantic runs on a buildup in vessel availability in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean regions.

“The list is building so fast and everyday there is more,” one shipbroker said. “There has been no bad weather lately and when rates were higher, multiple ships ballasted in [to the USGC].”

Freight for an Aframax steaming on the East Coast Mexico-USGC route was assessed Worldscale 35 points lower Thursday at w122.5. The cost of carrying a 70,000 mt dirty cargo on an Aframax vessel making a USGC-UKC run was assessed at w100, down w22.5 points from Wednesday.

The market looked towards deals by Valero and Vitol done Thursday. Valero placed the Drepanos on subjects to lift a 70,000 mt cargo on an ECMex-USGC run at w122.5 for a December 3-5 laycan. The Searanger was booked by Vitol to carry 70,000 mt from the USGC to Europe on December 1 at w105.

The combination of a lull in cargo inquiry and a robust tonnage list has contributed to the bearish movement in rates after the market returned from the Thanksgiving holiday on Monday, shipping sources have said.

Freight for the ECMex-USGC route has fallen w137.5 or over 52.9% since October 23, when it reached w260 on an almost nonexistent tonnage list thinning from weather delays and increased export demand into Europe.

Sources close to the market expect rates to move back up into the coming weeks, as charterers re-enter the market as rates begin to look more favorable.

“There are a lot of ships [open for Aframaxes],” a different shipbroker said. “I think we will see a flood of cargoes after everyone waited for Valero to cover but let’s see.”
Source: Platts

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