Markets - Tonnage glut weighs on the market

Mar 09 2018

There were few changes to the VLCC market last week.

Cargo volumes were stable, but far from sufficient to change the glut of tonnage on all the major VLCC routes, Fearnleys said in its weekly report.


Options for owners were few and far between, which meant accepting earnings down towards zero dollars per day, or simply elect not fix at all. Either option is hardly sustainable over time.


Suezmaxes enjoyed an improved week, as decent cargo volumes in West Africa cleared out ships for the early 3rd decade.


Rates appeared to have peaked at WS70 for UK/Cont/Med discharge with earnings back at just over $10,000 per day.


The Black Sea also saw moderate improvement on the back of the West African  momentum with TD6 breaking through the WS75 barrier, although the current market is now showing signs of a slightly softer tone, Fearnleys said.


Eastern ballasters have had plenty of cargo choices in the MEG with an active Kharg programme keeping the list ticking over.


The week ahead has a more steady/soft feel, as end 3rd decade West Africa dates are coming to an end.


Rates in the North Sea and Baltic moved sideways, but could easily move further, as soon as 3rd decade cargoes come into play. Ice delays are still not sufficient to make this market move, so owners need to make a final stand, if we will have any significant ice premium this season.


In the Med and Black Sea, we are scraping the bottom with TCEs ending up in red. Cargo activity was decent, but the amount of available tonnage pushed rates down to an unbearable level.


At the time of writing (Wednesday), the tonnage list was looking healthier, as charterers secured cheap rates for their cargoes on several vessels.


However, we now expect some quiet days before we yet again have to fight for higher numbers, Fearnleys concluded.


Elsewhere, Korea Line Corp has signed a contract with domestic oil refiner, GS Caltex to ship crude oil.


Under the KRW210 bill deal, Korea Line will transport crude between the Middle East and South Korea using two crude carriers.


The contract is scheduled to start at the end of December, 2019, lasting until 1st January, 2026, Korea Line said in a regulatory filing.


Brokers reported that Trafigura had fixed the LR3 ‘SKS Sinni’ for six months at $14,500 per month, while UMI was said to have taken the 1999-built Suezmax ‘Eurohope’ for six, option six months, at $14,250 per day.


Trafigura was also said to have taken the 2013-built MR ‘St Katharinen’ for six to seven months at $14,500 per day. 


In the S&P segment, Greek interests were thought to be behind the purchase of the 2000-built VLCC ‘Mistral’ for $20.5 mill. She has a drydocking due in October.


Greek interests were also said to be behind the purchase of the 2008-built MR ‘Pacfic Rainbow’ for $16.1 mill.


As for newbuildings, Norwegian-based Apollo Shipping was believed to have ordered three VLCCs fitted to be fitted with scrubbers at DSME for $86.5 mill each.


Previous: TMC wins advanced shuttle tanker contracts

Next: Markets - Rising steel plate prices helped boost ship recycling rates

Nov-Dec 18

Bunkers - a looming nightmare; OSM, Bergshav; ballast water; Tanker Operator Hamburg report