Handymax And VLCC : Rates And Sentiments



LR’s in the MEG had a sharp downturn this, albeit short, week for Baltic Rate publications.  The 75Kt MEG/Japan TC1 index lost 23 points to WS169.44. The 90kt MEG/UK-Continent TC20 run to the UK-Continent also shed $275,000 to $4,940,000.

West of Suez, Mediterranean/East LR2’s on TC15 had a small tick up to the tune of just under $57,000 taking the index to 4,525,000.    


In the MEG, LR1’s have also fallen on price this week however not quite as harshly as the LR2’s. The 55kt MEG/Japan index of TC5 is currently marked at WS190.44 (-13 points) and the 65kt MEG/UK-Continent on TC8 dipped $241,000 to $4,120,000.

On the UK-Continent, the 60Kt ARA/West Africa TC16 index, remained relatively flat only with an incremental loss of 3.77 points to WS208.13.


MR’s in the MEG like other sizes in the region saw freight value evaporate this week, the TC17 index shed 10% of its value coming off 27.43 points to WS233.71.

UK-Continent MR’s were repeatedly tested down this week, each market reported fixture consistently taking a chunk out of the market value. The 37kt ARA/US-Atlantic coast of TC2 at time of writing is pegged at WS129.4, dropping from WS154.2. On a TC19 run (37kt ARA/West Africa) the index has also come down 28.25 points to WS144.19. 

The USG MR’s began the week lacklustre and then saw an influx of enquiry later in the week that looked to stem a resurge in rates for local discharge. TC14 (38kt US-Gulf/UK-Continent) went from WS163.5 to WS152.86. The 38kt US Gulf/Brazil on TC18 similarly dropped from WS234.57 to WS216.43. A 38kt US-Gulf/Caribbean TC21 trip bottomed out at $644,000 down from $742,000 to then rebound a little of the back of a widely reported fixture to $696,000.

The MR Atlantic Triangulation Basket TCE went from $27,753 to $22,705.


In the Mediterranean, Handymax’s were beaten down from WS240.28 to WS200.83.

Up in Northwest Europe, the TC23 30kt Cross UK-Continent suffered similarly to the Mediterranean and lost 23.28 points to WS197.


The market has been almost steady for this short week with the 270,000mt Middle East Gulf to China route only losing about half a point to WS57.23 which shows a corresponding daily round-trip TCE of $27,395 basis the Baltic Exchange’s vessel description. It is reported that the second decade of January (10th-20th) is now covered and charterers are seemingly in no rush, considering the softer sentiment, to cover the third decade whilst also awaiting confirmation of February dates in about 10 days’ time.

In the Atlantic market, a similar situation has been seen with the rate for 260,000mt West Africa/China also dropping half a point to WS59.53 (which shows a round voyage TCE of $30,855/day) while the rate for 270,000mt US Gulf/China eased off $83,333 to $7,900,000 (which translates to a round-trip TCE of $30,082), although overnight an operator is reported to have taken two VLCCs at $8,390,000 with options to the UK Continent at $4,125,000 for the first decade February loading in the US Gulf.


Suezmaxes in West Africa have managed to push rates up this week with the rate for 130,000mt Nigeria/UK Continent route rising 17 points since Tuesday to WS135.62 (a daily round-trip TCE of $52,730). In the Mediterranean and Black Sea region, the tonnage lists are more charterer-friendly and the 135,000mt CPC/Med route has climbed a comparatively meagre two points to WS140.73 (showing a daily TCE of $59,985 round-trip). In the Middle East, the rate for 140,000mt Middle East Gulf to the Mediterranean eased five points to WS88.68, as some owners are keen to get back West to potentially capitalise on the rise in the Atlantic markets while the Eastern markets are quiet with minimal activity.


In the North Sea, the rate for the 80,000mt Cross-UK Continent route has risen six points to WS180 (showing a round-trip daily TCE of $69,820 basis Hound Point to Wilhelmshaven) which is now being assisted by the firming US Gulf market and bad weather conditions in Northwest Europe.

In the Mediterranean market the rate for 80,000mt Cross-Mediterranean has remained flat this week at the WS150 level (basis Ceyhan to Lavera, that shows a daily round trip TCE of $36,435), with some vessels ballasting towards the US Gulf region.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the market has started a roller coaster ride, currently on a steep climb. The rate for 70,000mt East Coast Mexico/US Gulf (TD26) has risen 75 points since Tuesday to WS252.13 (a daily round-trip TCE of $75,970) and the 70,000mt Covenas/US Gulf rate firmed 67 points to WS238.50 (a round-trip TCE of $62,391/day). The rate for the trans-Atlantic route of 70,000mt US Gulf/UK Continent has shot up a stunning 90 points to WS280.50 (a round trip TCE basis Houston/Rotterdam of $75,298/day) which has caught the attention of owners with Mediterranean and UK Continent tonnage availability, causing some of them to instruct their vessels to ballast towards the US Gulf.

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Source : Baltic exchange