Tankers: A Slight Retreat for VLCCs This Week

Rates in this sector fell back slightly, with 280,000mt Middle East Gulf to USG via the Cape/Cape routing assessed one to two points lower at WS24 and 270,000mt to China now sits at WS42.5 level, down four points. As with last week, we saw this rate movement mirrored in the Atlantic, where 260,000mt West Africa to China is at WS42.5. Nevertheless, ENI are today reported to have fixed on subjects at WS43.75. Voyages of 270,000mt US Gulf to China are now rated at $5.95m region – $700k lower than a week ago.

Rates for 135,000mt Black Sea/Med have dipped to low WS50s, losing the 2.5-point gain from last week. The 130,000mt West Africa/UKCont market is also weaker and now sits at WS45, down six points. For the 140,000mt Middle East Gulf to Med trip, rates have modestly improved by a single point to WS22.

In the Mediterranean, market rates have flattened at WS65-67.5 level for 80,000mt Ceyhan/Med. Improvements were seen in Northern European voyages where rates for 80,000mt Hound Point/UKCont saw an uptick of 21 points to WS92.5-95 region. Rates for 100,000mt Baltic/UKCont improved by 11 or so points to WS52.5. Across the Atlantic, the market has remained flat at WS 68.75 for 70,000mt Carib/USGulf and WS67.5 for 70,000mt USGulf/UKCont.

In the Middle East Gulf, rates for 75,000mt to Japan have been under relentless pressure. Pantos did fix at WS63 earlier in the week, but subsequently levels have slipped further with the market now assessed in the mid to high WS50s. It was a similar story in the 55,000mt trade, with the market losing eight points to settle at WS50. The 37,000mt UKC to USAC trade started the week at WS70 and a flurry of activity with a tighter list saw an improvement to low WS80s before the brief recovery was snuffed out and rates settled back to high WS70s. The one bright area for owners was again in the backhaul business from the US Gulf where the market gained almost 35 points to WS125 level. It was a lacklustre week in the 30,000mt clean cross-Med trade with rates stuck in the doldrums at WS80.
Source: The Baltic Briefing

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