22-07-2017

Tankers: Americas MR rates hit 7-week low on slack activity, long positions

Tanker

The cost of moving clean petroleum products in the Americas fell to levels not seen since May as increasing tonnage combined with low activity to push down freight rates.

A bearish tone was heard early on when Chevron was heard to have taken a Medium Range tanker to be nominated at Worldscale 95 for a trans-Atlantic voyage starting with a 38,000 mt cargo loading in the Caribbean on unknown dates.

As a result, the US Gulf Coast-UK Continent run basis 38,000 mt was assessed at Worldscale 95, down w10. That rate works out to $13.10/mt.

That marked the first time that trans-Atlantic voyages had fallen below triple digits since May 30, when the UK Continent route was assessed at w90, $12.41/mt.

A charterer pointed to the overall slow market -- no cargoes were heard being openly worked Thursday -- coupled with a burgeoning position list that contained as many as 43 MRs through the end of July.

"Nothing has been happening lately and the position list been growing," he said. "That is an issue."

Sources said the entire Americas clean tanker market was beginning to fracture.

"Everything will follow suit, it's charterer's choice," a shipbroker said.

That was borne out when Vitol took the Andes at a lump sum of $190,000, or $5/mt for a US Gulf Coast-East Coast Mexico journey, which set the bar for that route.

The last time that route had been assessed lower was also May 30, when it closed at $185,000, or $4.87/mt.

Source: Platts

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