A static week for the VLCC market, despite approaching Chinese New Year. For 280,000mt Middle East Gulf/USG (via Cape of Good Hope) the market remains at WS17.5 while 270,000mt Middle East Gulf/China route was maintained at WS35.5 (which shows a round trip TCE of minus $5,200 per day), with Unipec reported taking three modern ships at close to this level during the course of the week. In the Atlantic region the 260,000mt West Africa/China trip is valued the same as last week, hovering around WS37 (a round-trip TCE of minus $2,500 per day) The 270,000mt US Gulf/China market saw significant weakness, where rates plunged $172,500 to just below $4.5 million (a round-trip TCE of minus $3,000 per day).



The rate for 130,000mt Nigeria/UKC gained another six points this week to a little shy of WS65 (showing a round-trip TCE of $3,000 per day) and 135,000mt Black Sea/Augusta improved by three points to just over WS71 (a round-trip TCE showing a few dollars above zero). In the 140,000mt Basrah/West Mediterranean market a few ships were reported on subjects with charterers such as ENI, Tupras and Shell active once again. Rates are being assessed 2.5 points down on a week ago at a fraction below WS30.



The 80,000mt Ceyhan/Mediterranean market plateaued this week with rates holding at between the WS97.5-100 level, which shows a round-trip TCE of $5,800 per day). In Northern Europe, rates for 80,000mt Hound Point/UKC were held at WS95 (a round-trip TCE of minus $2,100 per day). In the 100,000mt Baltic/UKC market rates fell a further five points to WS85 (a TCE of $8,700 per day). On the other side of the Atlantic, a slight improvement of 1.5 points was seen in the 70,000mt US Gulf/UK Continent market which is now assessed at between WS107.5-110 (a round-trip TCE of $7,100 per day). In the local markets the 70,000mt Covenas/US Gulf trip remained at around the WS98 level ($500 per day round-tip TCE) and 70,000mt EC Mexico/US Gulf rates were again held at the WS100 mark (a TCE a little under $3,000 per day round trip).



Freight levels in the Middle East Gulf were mostly stable over the week. The LR2s of TC1 have held around WS75, a round trip TCE of approximately $2,400 per day and are in need of some increased activity if rates are to upturn. The LR1s have been steadfast all week at about the WS97.5 mark for TC5 55k Middle East Gulf to Japan. On the MRs TC17 was tested down to WS183.75 (-WS7.08), a round trip TCE of $9,334 per day.   

West of Suez, the LR2s, TC15 80,000 Mediterranean / Japan have had a welcome upturn with $1.95 million reported fixed a couple of times bringing the negative TCE from the tens into the single figure thousands. The LR1s, TC16 60,000 Amsterdam / Offshore Lomé have been relatively flat with only a small drop of WS1.07 to WS103.93. 

On the UK-Continent, MR tonnage supply has continued to build this week resulting in a continued downward pressure. TC2 37,000 UK-Continent / US Atlantic Coast is dropped WS9.72 currently pegged at WS119.72, a round trip TCE of $1,610 per day. TC19 37,000 Amsterdam to Lagos has also lost 8.57 points to WS125 a round trip TCE of $3,684 per day. In the Americas both MR routes have again come off but by less than previous weeks. TC14 38,000 US Gulf / UK-Continent is now WS 83.57 (-WS1.79) and TC18 38k from US Gulf / Brazil WS 125 (-5.36).

The MR Atlantic basket TCE dropped from $6,092 per day to $5,045 per day. The Baltic Handymax market has been chipped away at by Charterers this week TC9 30,000 Baltic / UK-Continent is now at WS160 (-WS10). In the Mediterranean, limited vessel availability, bad weather and Black Sea demand has seen Handymax rates take a jump this week. TC6 30,000 Skikda / Lavera has elevated WS20.31 to WS 170.94.