Christmas cheer for VLCC owners? Tanker report Dec 6By james tweed • Dec 6th, 2013 • Category: Tankers
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The VLCC market has had a steady week – any signs of softness from last week have been steadied by a constant good level of volume. Charterers have fought hard to try to reduce the freight rates, however they only managed to do so by a point over the entire week. With the festive season upon us, there has been a certain amount of disruption, as owners and charterers travel to and from various meetings and parties. A pair of Korean VLCC relets were made available early on in the week, but even these vessels have resisted fixing below market levels, hinting at the fact they probably have their own cargoes not far down the line, and they may be unwilling to fix unless there is significant softness in the spot market. Depending on commission structure, terms and specifics of the voyage, AG/East has been fixed generally in the 270 at 62.5 to 64, while AG/West rates have remained firm at 38 via the Suez Canal and a shade more via Cape of Good Hope, again, depending on the Charterers’ terms.
West Africa seems to have topped off at 260 at 62.5, as owners are happy to fix for the longer voyage at these levels, rather than fight too hard for the additional point or two and risk losing the business. The availability of Atlantic tonnage is very restricted, and any late running vessels will be difficult to replace, meanwhile vessels ballasting from the Eastern hemisphere are being tempted by the rewards on offer in the Arabian Gulf. A tighter December loading cargo to the east coast of India had to pay higher at $6.2 million for tonnage in the Red Sea, whereas a January stem ten days later managed seven offers, and was fixed at a softer rate to west coast of India, highlighting the tightness of tonnage for December and early January. Caribbean rates also remain steady, as local positions are willing same levels off their vessel’s dates in order to get fixed, and not risk missing this business.
The 30 day availability shows 55 marketed VLCCs of which four are over 15 years old compared to the 50 of last week. We have now reached approximately 31 fixtures for the third decade of December with an expected 10-15 left to cover, or emerge from private deals.
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