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Tankers: VLCC Market Steady Throughout the Week

Monday, 05 February 2024 | 01:00



LR’s in the MEG lost some steam this week and freight rates took a downturn. The 75kt MEG/Japan TC1 index dropped 31.66 points to WS322.78. The 90kt MEG/UK-Continent TC20 run to the UK-Continent also came down $212,500 to $8.475 million.

West of Suez, Mediterranean/East LR2’s on TC15 saw a significant upturn, the index climbed $641,000 to $5.608 million.


In the MEG, LR1 freight has also taken a tumble. The 55kt MEG/Japan index of TC5 is currently marked at WS356.13, down 21.68 points. The 65kt MEG/UK-Continent of TC8 hovered around the $7.2 million to $7.4 million mark all week.

On the UK-Continent, the 60kt ARA/West Africa TC16 index saw a big upturn mid-week after a market reported fixture at WS245. This has taken the index up to its current mark of WS243.81, a gain of 38.87 points.


MRs in the MEG have taken a significant re-correction down this week, the TC17 index shed 26.42 points to WS445.71 with reports of WS425 on subjects in the market at time of writing.

UK-Continent MRs have been reportedly soft this week with charterers in the driving seat. As a result 37kt ARA/US-Atlantic coast of TC2 index lost 61.39 points (26% of its value) and is currently marked at WS164.64. This has taken the Baltic round trip TCE for TC2 down from $28,000 / day round trip to $16,000 /day, a 42% drop. On a TC19 run (37kt ARA/West Africa) the index has followed suit of TC2 and dropped from WS246.88 to WS184.38 this week.

The USG MRs followed a peak and trough pattern this week. TC14 (38kt US-Gulf/UK-Continent) went from WS164.29 to WS176.07 and then back to WS164.64. The 38kt US Gulf/Brazil on TC18 mirrored this, peaking at WS225 from WS215 to then return back to WS218.57 by end of the week. The 38kt US-Gulf/Caribbean TC21 steadily ticked down this week from $715,000 to $696,429.


In the Mediterranean, Handymax’s showed a steep downward trajectory and the TC6 index went from WS307.78 to WS245.

Up in North West Europe, the TC23 30kt Cross UK-Continent index had 96.39 points cut from it this week falling to WS225.83.


The market was mostly static this week with the rate for the 270,000 mt Middle East Gulf to China route hovering around the WS57.5 to WS58 level. This translates into a daily round-trip TCE of about $33,500 basis the Baltic Exchange’s recently updated vessel description.

In the Atlantic market, a similar situation was experienced for the 260,000 mt West Africa/China trip where the rate was held at the WS59 to WS59.5 mark which shows a round voyage TCE of about $35,500 per day) while the rate for 270,000 mt US Gulf/China slipped $122,222 to $8,811,111 (which provides a round-trip daily TCE of $42,245).


Suezmaxes in West Africa were slightly weaker this week with the rate for 130,000 mt Nigeria/UK Continent three points softer than last Friday at WS105.55 (a daily round-trip TCE of $39,583). In the Mediterranean and Black Sea region the rate for 135,000 mt CPC/Med remained steady at a fraction below WS130 (showing a daily TCE of a little above $53,500 round-trip). In the Middle East, the rate for 140,000 mt Middle East Gulf to the Mediterranean was lifted eight points to WS123.78 with the continued risks involved in a Red Sea transit being the main driving force behind the rise.


In the North Sea, the rate for the 80,000 mt Cross-UK Continent route fell eight points to WS173.70 (showing a round-trip daily TCE of $65,589 basis Hound Point to Wilhelmshaven).

In the Mediterranean market the rate for 80,000 mt Cross-Mediterranean has weakened again, by almost 18 points since last Friday to WS195.39 (basis Ceyhan to Lavera, that shows a daily round trip TCE of $60,792).

Across the Atlantic, the Stateside market has continued on a downward spiral. The rate for 70,000 mt East Coast Mexico/US Gulf (TD26) and 70,000 mt Covenas/US Gulf (TD9) both had 52.5 points deducted from last Friday’s assessments, to WS213.13 (a round-trip TCE of $59,500 per day) and WS204.38 (a round-trip TCE of $49,846 per day) respectively. The rate for the trans-Atlantic route of 70,000 mt US Gulf/UK Continent (TD25) is now 19 points weaker at WS185.31 (a round trip TCE basis Houston/Rotterdam of $43,648 per day).
Source: Baltic Exchange

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