Mid-East fixing fails to lifr rates

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 April, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 April, 1996, 12:00am

The surfeit of spot tonnage continued to depress rates, despite a reasonable level of fixing from the Middle East gulf this week.

A total of 18 VLCCs and ULCCs were fixed this week, amounting to 4.8 million tonnes.

Modern tonnage to the West was able to maintain modest premiums at about Worldstandard (WS) 45 to the US Gulf and Canada and WS 47.5 to the UK-Continent, whereas older tonnage fixed to the UK-Continent at a five-point discount.

A similar pattern was seen for tonnage fixing to Korea, with modern VLCCs obtaining WS 47.5 and older tonnage WS 40. A ULCC fixing to Rotterdam obtained WS 42.5.

Our projection of available tonnage for the next four weeks amounts to 59 vessels totalling 16.5 million tonnes (including three ULCCs which so far are not willing to operate on this market).

The picture for Aframax tonnage in the area remains similar, with the rate to Singapore standing at about WS 100 and to Mombasa at WS 115. A million-barrel vessel fixed to New Zealand at WS 80.

The West African market continued to be active, when rates to the US Gulf were firmly established in the mid-WS 90's for modern tonnage although older vessels continued to trade at about a 10-point discount.

VLCCs were less in evidence from this area, but a couple of fixtures were concluded at WS 62.5 to the US Gulf, and at the time of writing one Far East Charterer has tonnage on 'subjects' at WS 49 for discharge in Taiwan.

The Mediterranean saw activity pick up towards the end of the week. The level for the 80,000-tonne movements cross-Med crept up to WS 120 for prompt lifting although, generally, rates were achieved between WS 115 and WS 117.5.

Million-barrel activity from Sidi Kerir and Novorossisk was brisk, with rates between WS 92.5 and WS 95 being paid from both these areas for Mediterranean and UK-Continent destinations. Report supplied by shipbroker E.A. Gibson