In the realm of global shipping, recent reports hint at an active spot market, yet rates show little signs of a significant surge. Charterers seek modern ships, but mismatched vessels hamper rate growth. Amidst the intrigue of upcoming deals, LNG and LPG markets navigate stability, with whispers of potential shifts on the horizon.
Despite reports of a relatively active spot market, with requirements being shown ex-Australia and the Middle East, as well as some FOB ex-US, there is little uptick in the spot rates. One of the stumbling blocks facing an uptick in rates is that charterers are having a hard time pinning down cold/modern/open ships, with utilization of fleets from major players coming first and foremost, while the ships in the market are not always fit for the cargoes shown. Rates, as a result, have been flat, with BLNG1g Aus-Japan moving by the smallest of margins gaining just $15 on the week to close at $146,657. BLNG2g Houston-Cont. was a little more bearish shaving $4,820 off the start of the week to finish at $155,434, while BLNG3g Houston-Japan fell a little more to close at $166,864.
Some brokers reported that a an TFDE 155cbm vessel fixed for a voyage in the east at $150,000 PD, which could bolster rates next week. However, with sentiment very much the defining factor of the LNG market, there could be status quo. Certainly the uproar of the winter market from previous years seem a distant memory.
LNG period has softened further with rates now on a one-year 174 2-Stroke ship published at $102,733, down around $1,100 from the week previous. Reports of longer-term business is rumored but with discussions held privately little has emerged to drive levels.
The market out in the East has been relatively stable. Some cargoes going on subs at the tail end of the week around $150 has pushed rates up and the index rose by $5.142 on the week to close at $152.571, giving a daily TCE earning of $140,730. There is the beginning of a false narrative on the tonnage list though while concern still lingers on the possibility of hefty delays, or even heftier auction slots, to go through the Panama Canal many ships in the AG available for BLPG1 trade are enroute to the US to look for BLPG3 and BLPG2 cargoes.
This is making position lists quite trying for brokers at the moment. Ships with itineraries going through the Panama Canal are uncertain, and Neo ships versus Panama ships are trading at quite a premium. Tonnage coming from the Middle East could be snapped up locally or all move across the Atlantic and change the outlook there. How this may affect the rates is not well known yet. Rates were flat for Houston-Chiba at the start of the week, losing some steam and dropping over $2 before an end of week rally where rates ended up $2.715 overall and at a value of $240.286, giving a daily TCE earning at $146,304. Houston-Flushing BLPG2 was more subdued rising little to close at $134.8 with a TCE earning equivalent of $164,719.
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Source: Baltic Exchange