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Tankers: VLCCs On Quiet Start to 2021

Monday, 11 January 2021 | 01:00


A relatively quiet start to 2021. On the new 2021 Worldscale schedule, flat rates fell about 17%. To compensate, fixing rates reflected an upward adjustment on the first working day of the year, but have since eased. In the Middle East, 280,000mt to US Gulf via the Cape/Cape routing is assessed almost a point down at WS21 level, while 270,000mt to China is rated two points lower since Monday at WS40.5. In the Atlantic, rates for 260,000mt West Africa to China fell three points to WS38. For voyages of 270,000mt US Gulf to China the rate has reduced $200k to $4.68m.


In the 135,000mt Black Sea/Med market, rates seemed to plateau at WS59 level. Meanwhile, for 130,000mt Nigeria/UK Continent they fell back 3.5 points to WS37.5-38 region. In the Middle East market, 140,000mt Basrah/Med voyages remain at WS11.5 despite the approximate 16% fall in the 2021 WS flat rate.


Rates for 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera remain steady around the WS70 level, whilst in Northern Europe voyages of 80,000mt cross-North Sea continue to hover around the WS81.5 level and 100,000mt Baltic/UK-Continent saw rates 1.5 points lower at a shade over WS60. On the other side of the Atlantic, rates for 70,000mt Carib to US Gulf are flat at WS90 level and the 70,000mt US Gulf to UK Continent market saw rates weaken eight points to around WS77.


There has been little to cheer for owners at the start of the New Year. Significantly lower 2021 flat rates, combined with higher bunker costs, have left owners struggling to maintain even modest TCE’s. In the Middle East Gulf/Japan trade, rates have remained under pressure with rates for 75,000mt hovering around WS80. On the LR1s, a heavily over-populated list has seen rates slide around 15 points to sit now in the region of WS85. The MR market saw rates for 35,000mt AG/East Africa gaining around four points to just below WS150. In the Atlantic trade, the second half of the week saw plenty of fresh enquiry for both transatlantic and West Africa discharge. Owners were able to capitalise here with 37,000mt UKContinent/USAC now paying around WS110, up from the high WS80s at the start of the week. The backhaul trip of 38,000mt from US Gulf to UKContinent, however, fared less well. It eased over 15 points to low WS70s, while the 38,000mt US Gulf to Brazil run lost five points plus to settle at just above WS105 region. In the 30,000mt cross-Mediterranean trade, rates were flat at close to WS90.
Source: The Baltic Briefing

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