Activity Key For Market Buoyancy In The Atlantic



  • The Middle East Gulf (MEG) VLCC tonnage list appears tight on paper, with a low cargo count of around 115 for the month.
  • However, fixing for the 25-31 window is already underway, raising questions about a potentially lighter month or undisclosed underground deals.
  • Profit-taking is observed as WS 74-75 levels prove tempting, though owners remain cautious about market volatility.
  • In the Atlantic, maintaining activity is crucial for market buoyancy, with notable deals closed, including USG/Ningbo and USWC-bound shipments.

Suezmax Dynamics: Focus on US Gulf

The Suezmax market experiences a slow start, particularly in the US Gulf, with rate levels bouncing back to WS 92.5-95 for transatlantic business. The lightering sector sees increased activity. West Africa faces sluggishness, and Mediterranean/Black Sea regions grapple with a long tonnage list. Middle East Gulf remains active, concluding rates below last done, with variations based on routes.

Aframax Market Overview

North Sea: The North Sea Aframax market lacks compared to surrounding regions, with relets and VLCC/Suezmax activity limiting Aframax engagement. Natural dates are extending to mid-month, making neighboring markets more attractive.

Mediterranean: Mediterranean Aframax rates rebound faster than expected, supported by owner resilience and increased demand, particularly with a resurgence of CPC cargoes in the Black Sea. Rates firm up, but the pace depends on charterers’ strategies.

Spot Rates and 1 Year T/C Trends

Spot rates (WS 2024) show varied changes, with MEG to the West gaining 5 points, MEG to Japan increasing by 15 points, and MEG to Singapore rising by 15 points. Some notable changes include Sidi Kerir to the West Mediterranean dropping by 10 points. In the dirty tanker segment, VLCC modern rates hold at $38,000, Suezmax at $44,000, and Aframax at $42,000. The 1 Year T/C Crude index remains stable.

VLCC Fixing Trends

Last week witnessed fixes in all areas for 94 VLCCs, with 34 available in MEG for the next 30 days. Modern VLCC rates remain at $38,000. The report points to potential nuances in the market, urging industry participants to closely monitor fixing trends and cargo dynamics.

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Source: Fearn Pulse