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VLCCs Rise 21% in Strong Week So Far

May 12, 2016

A surge in rates from West Africa on Wednesday added to a rising week for VLCCs.

The average time-charter equivalent (TCE) rate for the large tankers jumped to $42,300 per day, a 21.2% increase since the close of last week, which also saw a surge in day rates.

The sector has seen rates move gradually higher since ending a slump at the end of April.

“Our chartering desk notes that vessel supply is balanced over the near term, which should be supportive of spot rates,” said Omar Nokta, an analyst for Clarksons Platou Securities.

Today saw limited chartering activity, but that didn’t stop Heidmar from scoring a firm rate for the 299,000-dwt Luxe (built 1999).

The ship, which trades in the Seawolf pool, will be earning $4.3m for a ride from West Africa to the east coast of India on the dime of charterer Indian Oil, according to Tankers International.

BETTER THAN LAST DONE

The rate is somewhat better than the $3.68m earned on the same route last week.
Unipec also fixed Dynacom Tankers Management’s 300,000-dwt Georgios (built 2009) for a trip from West Africa to China at WorldScale (WS) 67.5.

That’s higher than the WS 63 earned for a similar journey yesterday.

It was quieter in the Middle East today after charterers finished fixing for May loading.

BASRAH BOUNCE

But Norwegian shipbroker Fearnleys said the Basrah Oil Terminal has released its June programme much earlier than expected, and its demand signs are boosting owner sentiment.

“The charterers may have a different opinion as they are not showing too much firm at the moment possibly in an attempt to cool off owners’ optimism,” Fearnleys said in its weekly report.

Average Suezmax TCE rates have gained 12.4% to approach $25,300 per day on the Baltic Exchange today.

But recent strength in West Africa might be mitigated by a force majeure in Bonny, Nigeria, because of pipeline leakage.

By Eric Martin
TradeWinds – 11 May 2016