Tankers: WAF-UKC Suezmax freight rates surge to eight-month high on cargo flow


The cost of sending crude oil cargoes from West Africa to the UK Continent has surged to the highest level in over eight months due to a sharp increase in Nigerian cargo flow in recent weeks and an accompanying rise in fixing in other regions.

The WAF-UK Continent route, basis 130,000 mt, was assessed Worldscale 12.5 higher at w107.5 Friday, the highest since a w111.25 assessment on January 12.

The WAF Suezmax market was flooded with cargoes last week, with the return of Qua Iboe and Forcados exports increasing ship demand in the region.

In addition to this, brisk inquiry in the Black Sea, Mediterranean and US Gulf Coast reduced the number of potential ballasters to WAF and the overall position list in the region.

This resulted in progressively higher fixtures as the week went on, with Oando heard to have taken a ship at w110 on Friday for a WAF-UKCM voyage on October 11.

While tonnage was extremely tight for loading dates in the first and second decades of October, sources said the list opened up after that. Already several Eastern ballasters have committed to coming to WAF which has added length to the back end of the WAF list.

The oncoming presence of such Eastern ballasters, and a heavy wave of VLCC fixing for the balance of October is likely to place a cap on WAF Suezmax rates in the coming weeks, market participants said.

Source: Platts 

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