The tanker market pendulum swings again… July 25By james tweed • Jul 25th, 2014 • Category: Tankers
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At the beginning of this week the VLCC market looked pretty steady without anything exceptional on the horizon; however the end of the week ended with the pendulum swinging back into the owners’ favour. Charterers had stepped back from the market so it was inevitable that there would be activity this week and the market looked a little weak on Monday when 270 at 45 was fixed for Basrah/China on the Unique vessel and a relet fixed AG/Singapore 270 at 45, hinting at lower levels to come.
As the week progressed, more and more charterers entered the market and seemed to hang around unfixed when they were not able to achieve last done levels. As the volume of unfixed cargoes for end-July/early-August built up, owners grew more confident until 270 at 48 was fixed AG/China followed by the Patris fixing 270 at 51.5 AG/China for Unipec off 10-12/August. This seemed to be the signal for others to fix and rates are still raising as the week closes.
The West African market was quicker to react to the increase in cargoes, since there were basically no early ships available in the Atlantic, making the market even more AG-sensitive than usual. Both Indian and Chinese charterers ensured that rates rose about five Worldscale points for West Africa/China, which we’re assessing at 260 at 52.5. Out of West Africa, IOC was the busiest Indian charterer this week.
The very short list of available ships in the Caribbean quickly dwindled to nothing as Reliance, P66 and PetroChina quickly realised that if they wanted to fix a VLCC in August they had better fix the available ships as soon as possible. This caused the rates to rise to$ 4.46m Caribs/West Coast India and Caribs/Singapore jumped from $ 5.2 m to $ 5.5 m and then to $ 5.8 m for end-August laycans.
The 30 day availability index shows 88 VLCCs arriving at Fujairah of which 13 are over 15 years old compared to 83 last week with eight over 15 years old. An additional 10 cargoes were fixed for late July loadings bringing the total to 124, which has really helped owners regain momentum. We have so far counted 32 cargoes fixed from the Arabian Gulf for the month of August which divides into 28 for the first decade and 10 for the second
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