Friday, June 19, 2009
Friday, 19 June 2009
Spot VLCC activity started this week at the heightened levels of previous weeks but charterers slowed down their requests helping keep rates steady, brokers told Tankerworld. Rates for MEG-East voyages stayed even, at around WS 52 this week, although MEG-West rates picked up a bit from WS 32 to WS 35 this week.
A broker confirmed to Tankerworld early Thursday that Petrobras had fixed a TMT vessel to move 267,500 metric tonnes (mt) of MEG crude from Yanbu to Brazil for loading on July 5 at WS 37.5
According to one broker, MEG “market inquiry has slowed to a trickle for early July with June stems all but gone.”
TCE earnings for MEG-East and MEG-West voyages this week hovered around $35,000 and $18,000 per day per vessel respectively.
In the West African market however, a dip in tonnage availability caused spot VLCC rates to jump from WS 37 last week to WS 55 for voyages to the US Gulf.
The current rate of WS 55 for WAF-USG voyages has been reinforced with another fixture this morning confirmed to be for the Apollonia to move 260,000 tonnes of West African crude to the US Gulf for ExxonMobil for loading on July 18 at WS 55.
“Some owners have been ballasting over to the MEG to take advantage of significantly higher earnings there, while there are still reports coming in on fixtures for storage in the Atlantic region,” said a broker to Tankerworld.
TCE earnings on voyages to move West African crude to the US Gulf are being reported at $44,000 per day per vessel currently.
All three key markets [MEG-East, MEG-West and WAF-USG] are currently achieving higher TCE earnings this week compared to last week even though rates remain steady.
MEG-East voyages for example were earning around $25,000 last week compared to over $35,000 on some routes this week.
Some brokers pointed to bunker prices which have softened from last week's levels.
In Singapore for example, bunker prices fell for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday along with other key Asian ports, according to Bunkerworld data.
Looking ahead, one broker told Tankerworld Wednesday that “the rate structure is looking a bit top heavy for now with the momentum from last week dwindled.”
Another broker however, said that while charterers were holding back in the hope of “cooling down” the present trend, “with only about 10% of July stems covered for the MEG markets it remains to be seen if they will succeed.”