Tanker Market Update: Atlantic Surge And Mediterranean Momentum

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VLCC

A quiet week for the VLCCs as a lot of under the radar activity have resulted in TD3C sliding 3-4 points from WS 66.15 to WS 62.70. Charterers have done well in keeping a lid on the requirements being worked as owners have been satisfied with fixing last done, or slightly less depending on the voyage/counterpart/terms. The April MEG count lacking about 20 cargoes or so to compare with the last couple of months, and the tonnage list should be more than enough stacked to absorb the remaining stems for April. Quiet in the market at the time of writing with Korea, Singapore, and Middle East off due to Eid celebrations. There are though a ‘pick up’ in activity on the smaller sizes in the West, and owners with ships in the Atlantic hoping it will spill over to the bigger sisters.

Suezmax

US Gulf Aframax’s are the gift that keeps on giving (to owners at least) and are the key support mechanism for Suezmax with rates in the wider Atlantic, benefiting from the US Gulf’s unique microclimate (the tail is well and truly wagging the dog). Thanks to activity across the pond TD 20 has up-ticked 12.5 points in the last forty-eight hours to WS 120 with no downside.

There is no evident butterfly effect from the Atlantic into the Far East (for now) where miserly enquiry levels will keep MEG/East rates pinned down at WS 115-120 whilst BOT/UKCM should trade conference WS 67.5. We repeat are call from previous updates that with fewer ships performing West/East moves, there will be a crunch time in the offing where the supply of ships becomes very low by historical comparison, but that is a little further down the line.

Aframax

The North Sea market has been steady for the last week, but with US and Mediterranean markets firming rapidly this week the sentiment is now on the firmer side. Date wise we are moving into the 3rd decade. With surrounding markets providing better returns we will see vessels ballast out of the area putting pressure on the available tonnage. Some sustained demand is needed to crystalize the firmer sentiment.

The 2nd decade has proven busier than expected in the Mediterranean and coinciding with surrounding areas that are also under pressure, rates have improved. Rates reached the equivalent of Suezmaxes which are also under upward pressure and cargoes restricted to only Aframax struggle as owners made their sentiment clear. Delays in Trieste and Fos are expected to push vessels further back, but vessels from the UKC will be there to make their move into the Mediterranean.

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Source : Fearnpulse