Markets - Active week

Feb 01 2019

It has been an active week for VLCCs, primarily in MEG and West Africa as the Americas took a break.

However, this activity was not sufficient to halt the rate slide, Fearnleys said in the weekly report.

It would take a modern eco-type to get earnings above $20,000 per day ex MEG and West Africa to eastern destinations, while other VLCCs were fixed below this level.

A number of ships have started to ballast towards US Gulf/Caribbean which gives hope that activity will also pick up in this region. However, there is increasing doubt that rates will firm or even stabilise.

Suezmaxes saw rates steadily decline during the past week, as the fixing volume was thin.

West Africa saw a handful of Suezmax cargoes in the 2nd decade of February as charterers took their time to cover their requirements thus eroding owners’ confidence.

Delays in the Turkish Straits were high. Charterers were able to cover this week out to very early March dates at WS97.5 for TD6.

Interestingly, the TCE for this segment remained at a respectable level of just over $25,000perday for TD20 and slightly above $30,000 per day for TD6, despite a quieter period.

Traders are in a dilemma as to where to put cargoes at present, Fearnleys said.

North Sea Aframax rates increased by five points last week. However, the first couple of days this week were very quiet. As a result TD7 will be tested with a downward rate correction inevitable.

Owners fixing on the Baltic TD17 have enjoyed earnings in the high $20,000s per day. However, against this is the news that Primorsk is to undergo maintenance between 11th and 16th February.

Going forward, the broker expected a slightly softer market, as more vessels arrive for fewer available cargoes in the next fixing window.

Although owners in the Mediterranean have started to look for alternative cargoes, there are still 15-20 spot ships in the area with more ships due from the East.

Rates moved sideways this week only picking up by a few points with TD19 currently at WS107.5.

We expect the sideways trend to continue as there is an abundance of available tonnage that will need to find employment before rates firm, Fearnleys concluded.

In the charter market, brokers reported that Stena Bulk had taken the 2013-built Suezmax ‘Eurovision’ for 18 months at $25,000 per day, while ST Shipping was said to have fixed the 2008-built Aframax ‘Pro Alliance’ for six months at $17,000 per day.

In the newbuilding sector, Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s biggest shipbuilding group, has announced a share swap deal worth Won2.1 trill ($1.98 bill) to take over second-ranked Daewoo and create a global heavyweight controlling over 20% of the shipbuilding market.

State-funded Korea Development Bank (KDB) owns 55.7% of Daewoo, and has said it intends to sell the stake and consolidate the country’s three biggest shipbuilders – which includes Samsung Heavy Industries – into two.

This deal will “raise the fundamental competitiveness of Daewoo, at a time when the threat from latecomers in China and Singapore is growing,” KDB Chairman, Lee Dong-gull said on Thursday.

Hyundai and Daewoo hold a combined market share of 21.2%, according to data from Clarksons Research.

Elsewhere, the Hunter Group confirmed that DSME has agreed to further extend the option agreement for three additional VLCCs until 28th February, 2019.

The price is $93.6 per vessel and the delivery time is unchanged at within the first half of 2021.

South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) named its new VLCC, ‘Universal Leader’, at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) on 29th January.

She is the first of five scrubber fitted VLCCs ordered in 2017 under a KRW470 bill ($420 mill) deal. The remaining units are scheduled to be delivered every two months until this September.

‘Universal Leader’ will be deployed on the spot market after its naming ceremony, the company said, adding that two of five VLCCs would serve a five-year KRW190 bill contract with GS Caltex, which was signed in March, 2018.

Another three VLCCs have been ordered at HHI, according to Yonhap, worth around KRW320 bill ($286 mill).

It was thought that Evalend was behind the order.

They are set for delivery in the second half of 2020 and the scrubber-fitted trio will be built at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries.

According to  Han Young-seok, president of Hyundai Heavy Industries, the shipbuilding market is changing rapidly driven by the imminent enforcement of environmental regulations and growing demand for LNGCs.

In addition, two VLCCs were reported ordered at SWS for CSSC Leasing on a speculative basis. They are due to be delivered in 2021.

Hyundai Mipo was thought to be the recipient of an order for six 25,000 dwt chemical carriers from Trident.

In the S&P markets, Vitol was said to have purchased the 2018-built Suezmax ‘Energy Trophy’ for $62 mill. Brokers said that this was an old sale recently reported.

Greek interests were said have bought the 2001-built LR2 ‘Maersk Prosper’for $10.5 mill, while three Norwegian-controlled Aframaxes, ‘Telleviken’, ‘Toftviken’ and ‘Troviken’, built by Samsung in 2005, were believed sold to undisclosed interests for $48 mill en bloc with a timecharter attached. 

TORM was thought to have sold the 2002-built MR ‘Torm Amazon’ to Seven Islands for $8.5 mill.  


Previous: Markets - Recycling focus on Bangladesh

Next: NSSLGlobal and Teekay sign four-year enhanced contract

May 2019

Nor-Shipping - ballast - remote surveys