Volume out of Middle East considerably reduced
The volume of fixing of VLCCs from the Middle East Gulf last week was considerably reduced.
It is anticipated that April schedules from this area will be clarified this week, resulting in more activity.
As South Korean and Japanese charterers are going to be quieter, it is reasonable to expect some slippage in rates. Eleven 11 VLCCs-ULCCs were concluded from the Middle East Gulf, amounting to 3.5 million tonnes.
Four vessels were fixed to the Far East, six to the west (including five ULCCs) and one to the Red Sea.
The market to the west was dominated by ULCCs, where rates varied depending on size at between WS 52.5 to the US Gulf and WS 55 to the UK-Continent for 390,000-tonne cargo and about 2.5 points less on the 445,000-tonne size.
Rates for VLCCs to South Korea were about WS 67.5 while a 270,000-tonne cargo to the Red Sea was fixed at WS 75. Rates for Aframax tonnage from the area ranged between WS 105 for older vessels to Singapore and WS 130 for modern tonnage to Australia.
The market for this size of vessel from Indonesia remained buoyant with rates to Japan steady at about WS 125. Seven VLCCs were reported fixed from West Africa last week, the majority of which were intended to discharge in the US Gulf, with the level remaining unchanged at WS 65 for cargoes of 260,000 tonnes.
A similar quantity was closed to Taiwan at WS 53.75.
Report supplied by E.A. Gibson Shipbrokers