All vessel sizes have been continually pushed down this week in the Middle East Gulf despite activity levels looking better. TC1 has come down 16.25 points to WS110.63 with a vessel widely reported on subs at WS110 at the time of writing. Likewise, a trip west on TC20 has haemorrhaged $320,000 down to $3,190,000. The LR1s have not felt the pressure as much at their larger counterparts. TC5, despite losing 6.43 points this week, has stayed above the WS130 mark. A voyage west on TC8 has remained in the $2,800,000 range. The MRs in the region, which were doing well to be resolute, finally succumbed this week and TC17 had a 54.29 point chunk taken out of it to take the index down to WS195.

West of Suez, LR2s have remained soft this week. TC15 lost $200,000 and is currently pegged at $2,783,333 taking the TCE for this run into negative. TC16 has clung on in the mid WS130s all week.

MRs on the UK-Continent have been continually tested down this week and vessel supply has heavily outweighed demand - including vessels ballasting away from the USA. TC2 dropped 49.16 points to WS150.56 and TC19 similarly shed 57.86 points to WS160.71.

Mediterranean Handymax vessels have continued to tick up this week, up and over the WS200 mark to WS201.56 at present. In North west Europe, after bottoming out at WS150, TC23 has returned back to just under the WS160 mark.

In the Americas, the lid has been kept firmly on top of freight rates. TC14 has dipped down to WS77.08 (-2.92) and unfortunately a round-trip TCE for this run is in negative figures at the moment. TC18 has held stable, only losing an incremental 2.5 points to WS135. A widely reported charter to the Caribbean at $450,000 has pushed the TC21 index down towards this level and its currently pegged at $453,333.


The VLCC market remained relatively static on the face of it this week. This was due mainly to the Lunar New Year holiday neutralising any enquiry and fixture volume, except for the US Gulf to China route. 270,000mt Middle East Gulf to China market saw a very slight increase of one point to WS47.73, which shows an actual drop of about $400 per day with a TCE of $17,900 basis the Baltic Exchange’s vessel description. The rate for 280,000mt Middle East Gulf to US Gulf (via the cape/cape routing) is assessed at an unmoved WS35.

In the Atlantic markets the rate for 260,000mt West Africa/China continued to be valued at between WS50-51 (a round-trip TCE of about $22,300 per day, which is $2000 per day less than a week ago). The rate for 270,000mt US Gulf/China fell by over $258,000 to just above $7.861 million ($24,100 per day round trip TCE).


The Suezmax market was mostly steady this week. The rate for 135,000mt CPC/Augusta eased two points to just above the WS200 mark (a round-trip TCE of about $112,500 per day). In West Africa, for the 130,000mt Nigeria/Rotterdam voyage, rates remained flat at the WS124-125 level (a daily round trip TCE of $51,400, which is $1000 per day less than a week ago). In the Middle East the rate for 140,000mt Basrah/Lavera dropped three points to WS67.  


In the North Sea market, rates for the 80,000mt Hound Point/Wilhelmshaven route dropped about three points to the WS160-161 region (a round-trip daily TCE of $55,800). In the Mediterranean, the rate for 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera tumbled about 36 points to a little above WS222 (a daily round-trip TCE of $80,000).

Across the Atlantic, a tonnage availability build-up has caused rates to fall in the Stateside Aframax market. The rate for 70,000mt East Coast Mexico/US Gulf shed about 50 points to WS150 (about $32,400 per day round-trip TCE). Meanwhile, the 70,000mt Covenas/US Gulf has fallen about 44 points to a fraction below WS140 (a daily round-trip TCE of $26,000). For the Transatlantic route of 70,000mt US Gulf/Rotterdam, rates were reduced by 23.5 points to WS152 (showing a round trip TCE of $32,400 per day).