VLCC Market: Signs Of Revival Amid Easter Festivities

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VLCC

If not a resurrection, the market showed signs of improvement as the trading week kicked off. Whilst most of the Western world were still stuffing their face with Easter eggs Monday saw a couple of MEG/East concluded at higher numbers. Extrapolating on the last couple of months we might Sea Legend Shipping, a start-up running opportunistic Red Sea-China services, is linking its network with Safetrans, which was set up to operate Russia-bound services.

The front end of the MEG position list is also well balanced, if not tight. However, Atlantic action has been wanting and the position list has been added to by Venezuelan stems evaporating. USG export is also behind the curve and downward pressure appears inevitable unless activity picks up.

Suezmax

The West/East arb’ is narrow at best and remains in steep backwardation, suggesting that intra-Atlantic trades are likely to benefit Suezmax in the short/medium term. On that front, USG/TA has just traded up, with last done posting WS 82.5 which will act as a support mechanism for the wider Atlantic market.

In the East, there has been a trickle of activity with BOT/UKCM trading conference at WS 67.5 with no obvious downside. MEG/East remains around the WS 120 level and if owners start to examine the list closely they will see that at first glance it looks rather long, but upon further inspection, the ships are in the hands of fewer participants than usual.

Aframax

A fair volume of pre-Easter fixing covered a lot of the first decade. Tonnage list remains balanced with a tight shuttle market and vessels still ballasting away. Interest from owners depends on cargo specifics with other regions providing better alternatives. Market feels like it may have bottomed out, increased demand will absorb the supply of tonnage and start to support rates.

Mediterranean market has been busy as charterers looked to cover Libya stems up to mid-month, whilst Ceyhan and CPC push to finish 2nd decade of April stems. Shaky itineraries and a busy fixing window kept owners excited with some inflated replacement rates, though Suezmaxes lacking conviction in the area could take the edge off. Tonnage looks sensible with inquiring ballasters from the North looking to engage with Mediterranean stems.

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Source: Fearnpulse