Another slow week was witnessed in the VLCC market as charterers finished their November programme.
Although the BOT and Saudi stems have been released, charterers kept a low profile, Fearnleys reported. The reason could be that tonnage appears to be fairly ample for the first half of December, including those vessels rolling over from this month.
The Atlantic also lost its recent steam. The arbitrage was not working in North Sea/East destinations, resulting in several charters failing. In West Africa and the Caribbean, owners also had to accept lower rates, as more tonnage arrived.
Suezmaxes also saw a drop in rates again, especially in West Africa where an overhang of November tonnage caused a build up. Rates in UK/Con/Med were being quoted in the low WS80s. However, rate levels could pick up again when proceeding further into the December loading programme, Fearnleys said. In contrast Black Sea/Med rates held firm as more weather delays in Med ports and the Turkish Straits - up to eight days northbound and up to six days southbound.
The North Sea/Baltic Aframax market did not produce the anticipated rush of fixtures. Charterers appeared top be ahead of the game and fixed vessels on forward loading dates under the radar, keeping the sentiment more or less unchanged. By the middle of this week, business had gone a bit quiet before the early December stems emerge. Going forward rates are expected to firm.
In the Black Sea/Med activity was still good, but as delays in some ports reduced, charterers managed to keep rates at around the WS115 level. Cargoes ex Black Sea were being worked up to 10th December and with the delays in the Straits, Fearnleys expected rates to remain firm going into December.
Period charters reported recently include unknown operators fixing the 2008-built Aframax ‘Ace’ for three years at $25,500 per day and Valero taking the 2008-built LR1 ‘Energy Centaur’ for two years at $25,000 per day.
In the MR sector period rates seemed to have firmed slightly illustrated by brokers reporting that unknown interests had fixed the 2015-built ‘Al Betroleya’ for 12 months at $19,350 and Trafigura reportedly fixing the 2008-built ‘Kriti Ruby’ for 12 months at $18,250 per day.
In the S&P sector, Ridgebury Tankers has put its fleet of Suezmaes, Aframaxes and MRs up for sale, presumably to cash in on a firm secondhand market. It was thought that the company will keep its VLCC fleet.
Brokers reported the sale of the 1998-built Suezmax ‘Cap Laurent’ to Indian-based Seven Island Shipping for $20.5 mill. Another Suezmax, the 2000-built ‘DHT Trader’ was believed to have been committed to Greek interests for $27 mill. The high price was due to the vessel being fitted with epoxy coated tanks, brokers said.
The newly built MRs ‘Dong-A Themis’ and ‘Dong-A Triton’ were said to have been sold to Greek interests for $35 mill each in a deal, which was thought to have included a timecharter attached.
TORM was said to have disposed of the 1999-built MRs ‘Torm Anne’ and ‘Torm Gunhild’ to unknown interests for about $10.8 mill in an en bloc deal, while the 1999-built MR ‘Rainbow Quest’ was believed committed to Greek buyers for $10 mill.
In the newbuilding segment, Chandris was thought to have swopped a bulker for a pair of Aframaxes.
According to reports from Singapore, Cosco Dalian has agreed to cancel one of two 82,000 dwt bulk carriers ordered by the Greek company a year or so ago. The cancelled vessel was originally scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2016.
However, the delivery dates for the Aframaxes were said to be the fourth quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, respectively, suggesting new contracts. The price was claimed to be confidential.
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) has been awarded a contract to build two VLCCs for Maran Tankers Management (MTM).
According to DSME, the two VLCCs will be built at Okpo and will be delivered in 2017.
This is the third VLCC batch order received by DSME this year from the Angelicoussis controlled Shipping Group, as MTM had ordered two VLCCs in January and another two in April. In May, MTM also ordered a pair of Suezmaxes.
Singapore-based Active Shipping was thought to have ordered up to four Suezmaxes at HHI.
Minerva was also rumoured to have ordered four Aframaxes at Namura for 2017 deliveries and somewhat surprisingly, Vitol was named as the contractor of two Suezmaxes at Sungdong, also for 2017 deliveries.
Another LPG carrier contract came to light this time involving Navigator who was said to have ordered a 38,000 cu m unit at HMD for August 2017 delivery for $50 mill.