Markets - VLCC rates not going anywhere soon

Sep 23 2016

The MEG VLCC market remained much the same with rates hovering around recent levels, while charterers continued to drip feed their requirement into the market, which remained oversupplied, Fearnleys reported.

The Atlantic saw renewed interest from charterers and levels increased from NSea, Caribs and WAfrica. However, the WAfrica hike was short lived, as rates corrected down to last week’s levels. 
Although modern tonnage open in the East has found employment ex WAfrica, the supply situation in MEG was unchanged with no improvement on the horizon. 
In the past week, Suezmaxes in the Atlantic basin saw considerable gains. However, the situation was compounded by several charterers holding back on 3rd decade of September stems hoping they could overcome the owners sentiment. 
Vessels were steadily fixed in the Med/Black Sea and the availability in WAfrica tightened, resulting in owners capitalising and by the end of the week, rates moved into the mid WS60s. 
The pressure then moved into 1st decade Oct dates, as owners held back on offers and charterers paying up to WS85 for last done WAfrica/UK-Cont-Med. 
The Med/Black sea markets saw healthy gains at more sustainable levels. We anticipate West Africa to rates to rise towards WS90 for TD20 with continued bullish sentiment from owners into the early 2nd decade of Oct. 
Aframax rates in the North Sea and Baltic dropped a couple of points on the back of a quiet end to last week. However, a busier Baltic programme for October fuelled owners with more optimism. 
At the time of writing (Wednesday) we are experiencing a rate rebound and we expect this firm sentiment to continue for the first decade of October, Fearnleys said. 
In the Med and Black Sea, the firming trend from last week continued. We have seen everything from WS100 to WS115 being fixed, much depending on the laycan. The list is very tight for charterers looking for prompt dates. 
Going forward, we believe the market will stabilise, as cargo activity is expected to slow for the beginning of October, Fearnleys concluded.
Elsewhere in the charter market, broking sources reported that Penfield had taken the 2007-built LR2 ‘Galway Spirit’ for two years at $17,000 per day, while PBF reportedly took the 2009-built Aframax ‘Emerald Spirit’ for 12-18 months at $17,500 per day.
Vitol was thought to have extended the charter of the two LR1 sisters ‘Jo Pinan’ and ‘Jo Redwood’ for another 12 months at $14,250 per day each, while Scorpio was said to have taken the 2005-built MR ‘Jag Pooja’ for 12 months at $14,500 per day. 
Elsewhere, Navig8 Chemical Tankers entered into a sale and leaseback transaction with subsidiaries of Japan-based SBI Holdings (SBI) for two 25,000 dwt stainless steel chemical tankers being built by Kitanihon Shipbuilding. 
Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CA-CIB) is providing debt financing to SBI in connection with the transaction.
Under the agreements, the vessels will be purchased by SBI from the company on their respective deliveries from Kitanihon. In turn, Navig8 has entered into 11-year bareboat charters for the vessels, commencing at the time of their deliveries. 
The company also has purchase options to re-acquire the vessels during the charter period, with the first such option exercisable on or around the fifth anniversary of each vessel delivery. The net proceeds from the transaction to Navig8 will be $74 mill.
In connection with the above arrangements, CA-CIB will also provide debt financing of up to $24,860,540 to reimburse Navig8 in respect of pre-delivery instalments already paid to Kitanihon for the vessels, which will be repaid upon the delivery of the vessels from the shipyard.
Hyundai Heavy Industries has reportedly secured a refund guarantee for a recent order to build two tankers for a Greek shipowner.
Acording to the Yonhap News Agency, the refund guarantee has been provided by a group of banks led by KEB-Hana Bank. 
Yonhap did not reveal the name of the shipowner.

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