Baltic Tanker Index: VLCC Market in “Quiet Mode”

An uneventful week in the Middle East Gulf saw rates for 270,000 tonnes to China ease around one point to WS 36. A run to Daesan went at WS 33. Going west, 280,000 tonnes cape/cape to US Gulf, fell from WS 17.5 down to WS 15.5, before Chevron fixed GC Fuzhou at WS 16.5. West Africa to China weakened 3.5 points to settle at WS 37.5 for 260,000 tonnes cargo. In the Mediterranean, UML fixed a Ceyhan/Taiwan run at $3.5 million on 2001 built tonnage. ATMI covered a US Gulf/Singapore-Taiwan trip at $3.0-3.675 million respectively.

West Africa rates for 130,000 tonnes to Europe continue to be steady at WS 70. Black Sea rates benefitted from the firmer West Africa market, with rates edging up around 7.5 points to the WS 77.5/80 region for 135,000 tonnes. In the Mediterranean, Unipec paid $2.15 million on 2000 built tonnage for Es Sider to Ningbo, while IOC took the 2002 built Ridgebury Astari at $1.825 million for Ceyhan to Chennai. Closer to home, Repsol fixed 140,000 tonnes from Sidi Kerir to Spain at WS 65.

An active week in the 80,000 tonnes cross-Med market saw rates initially drop to WS 75 for a Sidi Kerir/Leghorn voyage with a longer Sidi/Portugal run covered at WS 70. BP and UML paid WS 85 from Ceyhan while ENI fixed at WS 92.5 for Black Sea to Italy. Brokers feel with the thinner tonnage list there is potential for rates to firm. Status quo was maintained in the North with the Baltic steady at WS 85 basis 100,000 tonnes. The 80,000 tonnes cross North Sea market likewise held at WS 100. Clearlake fixed a Sullom Voe cargo at WS 105.

The 70,000 tonnes Caribbean/up-coast market dropped 20 points to WS 90. The improved weather led to clearer itineraries, leaving charterers with a healthy choice of tonnage before recovering modestly to WS 95.

It was a steady week with rates for 55,000 tonnes from ARA or Skikda to US Gulf hovering at, or close to, WS 105.

The LR2 market has firmed modestly with rates for 75,000 tonnes from Middle East Gulf to Japan nudging up 2.5 points to around WS 117.5 with LR1s steady at WS 115 basis 55,000 tonnes cargo.

In the 37,000 tonnes Cont/USAC trade, the market dropped 25 points to approximately WS 125. The 38,000 tonnes backhaul trade from US Gulf/UKCont eased almost 10 points to WS 112 level and remains under downward pressure.

Source: Baltic Briefing

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