Markets - On the up?

Mar 29 2018

Last week saw a slight rise in VLCC rates on the back of strong demand from the MEG and the Atlantic Americas region.

According to the Weber Weekly Tanker Report, as charterers moved towards early April MEG loading dates, about half of the tonnage available was ‘disadvantaged’.


Weber said that the number VLCCs projected to be available in the area at the conclusion of the April programme was 23, a progressive decline from the 26 available at the end of March programme and 33 at the conclusion of the February loading programme - a four year high.


Rates on the AG/China route were concluded at WS45 giving a TCE of around $13,700 per day last week, more than double the rates concluded in the previous week. Earnings for the triangulated Westbound trade jumped to $16,700 per day, while West Africa to China trips rallied to around $15,700 per day.


In addition, the benchmark Caribbean/Singapore voyage rose to $3.25 mill lumpsum, Weber said.


Meanwhile in the US, the Texas port of Corpus Christi is to build an addition oil export terminal.


On 22nd March, the port’s commissioners approved a lease agreement with CCI Corpus Christi Infrastructure (CCI) for around 55 acres of land on the north side of the ship channel in the inner harbour.


The land will be used for the construction and operation of a terminal intended for exporting US crude oil, condensate and refined petroleum products via a new oil dock, which will be able to handle Suezmaxes.


The channel is earmarked to be dredged down to around 52 ft.


Elsewhere, Navios Maritime Midstream Partners has agreed to acquire the 2009-built VLCC ‘Nave Galactic’ from sponsor Navios Maritime Acquisition Corp for $44.5 mill.


The vessel will replace the recently sold ‘Shinyo Kannika’.


“Navios Midstream will continue to refresh its fleet, thereby seeking to revitalise its cash flow generating ability,” the company said in a statement.


As a result of the proposed merger with Euronav, Gener8 Maritime is to withdraw 20 VLCCs and six Suezmaxes from the Navig8 pools in which they are commercially operated and put them in the Tankers International pool.


Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has arranged $420 million to finance the construction of five VLCCs.


The finance has been provided through the fund worth KRW2.6 trill ($2.28 bill), which the South Korean government announced in October, 2016 to help the country’s shipping industry.


Under the terms of the deal,  KDB, Citibank, Bank of America Merill Lynch, and Standard Chartered Bank will invest in senior secured debts, which are run by Korea Trade Insurance Corp, while the Export-Import Bank of Korea and Korea Asset Management Corp will invest in junior debts.


HMM will also participate in the financing by securing $4.2 mill by investing in junior loans.


The 300,000 dwt crude carriers were ordered from Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME). Two VLCCs have been long term chartered to domestic oil refiner GS Caltex.


In the charter market, brokers reported that Penfield had fixed the 2010-built Aframax ‘Stealth Berana’ for 12 months with an option for another 12 months at $13,800 per day, while ST Shipping was said to have taken another Maersk MR - the 2011-built ‘Maersk Miyajima’ for 12 months, option 12 months for $13,200 per day.


In the S&P sector, Eastern Pacific was thought to be the buyer of four Mitsubishi Diamond Aframaxes for around $112 mill en bloc.


In addition, brokers reported that the 2003-built Handysize ‘Baltic Champion’ had been sold for $7.6 mill to undisclosed interests.


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