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First week of March saw the VLCC market decline

First week of March

Baltic Exchange, the world’s largest independent source of maritime market data revealed its findings between 1st week of March 2021

Very large crude carriers (VLCC)

VLCC rates for the first week slanted towards a dip. For the Middle East region, 280,000mt to US Gulf via the Cape/Cape routing continues to be assessed at WS18-18.5 level. The rates for 270,000mt to China eased 1.5 points to WS30 (a TCE of minus $3,300/day). In the Atlantic, rates for 260,000mt West Africa to China maintained at WS34.5 (a TCE at about $2,100/day) and rates for 270,000mt from US Gulf to China dipped $10,000 to $4.12 million, translating to a TCE at about $4,500/day based on a round trip.


Suezmax’s rates for Black Sea/Med have steadied at WS75 level ($7,600/day TCE) while the 130,000mt Nigeria/UK-Continent market gained 5 points to WS60 ($6,400/day TCE). Basrah to Mediterranean for 140,000mt remains at WS18-18.5 level, although a Turkish owned vessel fixed a Turkish refiner for Basrah/Turkey at WS15. Exxon reportedly took a Delta ship at WS18.5 for European discharge options.


Aframax’s rates for the Mediterranean fell drastically – nearly 30 points to low WS100s for 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera (a TCE at about $9,500/day based on round voyage). Rates for Cross-North Sea remained at WS95 for 80,000mt, while 100,000mt Baltic to UK-Continent regained about 7 points to WS87.5/88.5 level. Owners saw reductions on the other side of the Atlantic. The 70,000mt Caribbean/US Gulf market slipped 6 points to WS142.5/145 level (a TCE at about $20,000/day round trip). Meanwhile for US Gulf to UK-Continent rates fell 14 points to WS107.5-110 level.


For Long-Range tonnage, 75,000mt Middle East Gulf/Japan rates gained 1.5 points to WS73.5. Rates for 55,000mt to Japan firmed a little with talk of WS95 agreed on subjects, which is up 3-4 points. Though there is a positive sentiment in the market, increased volumes of enquiry will be needed to prove any significant improvement.

Rates for Medium-Range tonnage for AG/East Africa started at WS160, before declining to mid WS155s and subsequently recovering to WS162.5 level. For the Cont/USAC market trade, rates declined 15 points – hovering at WS112.5/115. Levels have not been helped by the weak backhaul market where rates for 38,000mt from US Gulf to UK-Continent remained at WS60. Continent to West Africa rates remained at mid WS120s, while that for US Gulf to Brazil stayed above WS100.

The handysize market in the cross-Mediterranean trade opened at WS140 – a 30 point decline. The market now sits at around WS120 for West Med load, with East Med paying around WS125 and Black Sea hovering at WS135/140.


Hellenic Shipping News

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