Another fairly active week in the Middle East. However, owners were powerless to stem the bleeding of rates. For 270,000mt to China rates fell 10 points to WS55. Voyages of 280,000mt to USG via cape/cape routing are assessed about three points lower at WS32.5-33 level. In West Africa, little activity was seen in the market for 260,000mt to China with the route being rated five points lower than a week ago at WS58. The market for 270,000mt USG/China voyages is being assessed $900k higher, at $7.5m region.
Rates in this asset class have tumbled again as demand subsided and vessel availability increased. Rates for 130,000mt Nigeria/UKCont dived 16 points to WS55, while 135,000mt Black Sea/Med rates fell 12 points to WS62. In the Middle East, similar market forces have caused rates for 140,000mt Basrah/Med to slip six points to WS25 level.
Another pitiful week for owners across all sectors with charterers able to take control while owners were falling over each other to find cargoes to fix. In the Mediterranean, 80,000mt Ceyhan/Med is now at W70, down 11 points from a week ago. In Northern Europe, 80,000mt Cross North Sea is now WS76.5 representing a drop of 16 points, while 100,000mt Baltic/UKC is similarly down to WS57.5. Across the Atlantic, in the 70,000mt Carib/USG market, rates fell 14 points to low WS60s while for 70,000mt USG/UKC fixing levels collapsed 20+ points to mid WS50s.
Charterers were firmly in the driving seat this week as owners’ resistance proved futile. In the Middle East Gulf, rates for 75,000mt to Japan lost over 30 points to sit now at barely WS75. It was a similar story on the LR1s with the few enquiries in the market seeing charterers spoilt for choice. Rates are now at best in the low/mid WS 80s, in contrast to the WS120 region assessed at the start of the week. Owners plying the 37,000mt UKC to USAC trade also had to contend with stiff competition and rates lost around 7.5 points here with the last seen being Repsol fixing at WS125 for North Spain loading. The 38,000mt backhaul trade from US Gulf to UKC provided the only crumbs of comfort for owners with rates steady throughout the week in the low WS90s. The 30,000mt clean cross-Med trade came under renewed downward pressure and eased from WS 146.25 to barely WS 140 region. And, with the tonnage list continuing to grow and charterers in no rush to fix, brokers feel there is potential for further weakening in the market.
For daily tanker market assessments from the Baltic Exchange please visit www.balticexchange.com/market-information/