Weber Weekly Tanker Report : Week 33,2023

Credit: Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering

VLCC: Little change in the VLCC market as TD3 continued to trade in the high ws40’s this week. The August cargo program from the Arabian Gulf approached completion, while charterers slowly progressed into their September stems. The Atlantic Basin continued to be a little busier this week with rates holding steady. In fact, US Gulf rates even showed a slight uptick by the end of the week.

SUEZMAX: West Africa demand was stronger this week with a fresh boost of Nigerian barrels coming back into play with Forcados coming back online. As a result, charterers were quick to gobble up tonnage while working feverishly through their 1st decade programs which helped push rates up marginally 2.5 points on the week up to ws67.5. With a handful of uncovered cargoes still in play going into the weekend coupled with improving tonnage fundamentals should help the TD20 route eclipse the ws70 barrier going into next week. In the Americas, the tonnage list remains “patchy” at the top, coupled with increased demand for US Gulf reverse lighterings and an improving Aframax sector that helped push USG>UKCM rates up to ws60 (basis 145,000mt) levels and Guyana>UKCM up to ws65 (basis 145,000mt). The USG>EAST rates were up slightly this week with Singapore discharge commanding $5.7m levels and Long East at $5.2m levels and should remain date sensitive going into next week. BDTI-TD20 ended the week settling at ws68.86, which is up 4.09 points from this time last week.

AFRAMAX: A tighter tonnage list, accompanied by steady local demand has exerted additional upward pressure on rates this week. TD26 route started the week with rates dragging around ws102.5 levels but quickly made a U-turn off the back of a boost in Pajaritos demand pushing rates up to ws130 levels for the beam restricted load port. The TD25 route also witnessed improved earnings on the week as rates rebounded up 5.0 points on the week back up to ws120 for the Transatlantic route. Look for rates to continue to firm going into next week as Transatlantic cargo demand should remain strong off the back of stronger earnings from the Suezmax sector coupled with a more stabilised and steadying trend for the European-based markets.

MR: Rates held steady for the first half of the week on the UKC maintaining ws170 levels (basis 37,000mt) for TC2. Midweek brought some change as a flurry of cargo bound for both West Africa and Transatlantic destinations helped boost returns. Limited balusters created upward pressure as owners were able to raise rates to ws200 for Transatlantic while West Africa earned a ws15 point premium. Outstanding inquiries were a bit lighter today, so additional volume will be necessary next week to keep the momentum in the owners’ favour. US Gulf owners managed to do a solid job this week of “digging their heels in ” before fixing and capitalising on a shrinking tonnage list. TC14 made a jump from ws145 (basis 38,000mt) to ws165, while Brazil ran up to ws260 from ws215. Canal delays once again proved to be a market catalyst as USG>Chile gained some $500,000 before topping out at $3.3m.An abundance of mid-week short hauls for both EC Mexico and various places in the Caribbean kept the volume flowing. USG>CBS moved from $850,000 to $1.1m, while EC Mexico went from $650,000to $900,000. After a brief standoff between owners and charterers on the backside of the week, rates eased slightly off their peaks. Last done levels now stand at $1.05m for CBS and $3.2m for Chile. Turnarounds over the weekend should determine the length of time in the front end of the week continues before finally starting to settle.

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