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Maritime News

VLCCs 2018 Marks Tough Start for Tanker Owners

Hot on the heels of a troublesome 2017 the new year has proven to be just as challenging for owners of the largest tankers. In its latest weekly report shipbroker Charles R. Weber said that VLCC rates continue to sour as the market progressed into 2018 as rising levels of surplus availability in the key Middle East market against lackluster demand continues to undermine sentiment.The VLCC surplus at the conclusion of the January Middle East program’s second decade is projected to stand at 29 units which represents the highest level since September when AG-FEAST TCEs stood at about $11600 per day.TCEs on these routes are presently averaging $12 862day suggesting that further near term downside potential remains. In the coming week we expect that rates will continue to decline to an effective floor just above OPEX.


The shipbroker added that thereafter the surplus appears set to narrow modestly by end January loading dates in the Middle East market though it is uncertain if commercial managers are hiding a larger number of vessels than usual. Given this uncertainty and the lagging nature of rates to fundamentals changes we would not likely expect much rate improvement until charterers have progressed firmly into February loading dates even if fundamentals do narrow during Januarys final decade”.


In the tanker market this past week, in the Middle East rates to the Far East shed 0.82 points to conclude at ws40.23. TCEs concluded at $13653 perday. Rates to the USG via the Cape were unchanged at ws19.86. Triangulated Westbound trade earnings concluded at $15 616 per day. Similarly the West Africa market saw rates unchanged at ws43.79 with corresponding TCEs concluding at  $15 156 per day. Rates in the Atlantic Americas were softer on a growing supply demand imbalance on sluggish exports from both the US and Venezuela. The CBS SPORE benchmark route shed $400k to conclude at $3.20m lump sum.  Round trip TCEs on the route concluded at $15156 per day the shipbroker noted.

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