After a frantic few weeks of VLCC sales in anticipation of an imminent Pakistani reopening for tankers, activity slowed last week, GMS reported.
This could have been mainly due to Gadani’s doors not reopening for tankers as predicted and some worrying fluctuations in the Pakistani currency against the US dollar.
It seems as though we may have finally hit a peak of sorts as levels started to slide once again, on the back of a declining demand from the increasingly fewer end buyers possessing the ability to open large dollar value LCs to negotiate the large LDT tankers/VLCCs being proposed on an ongoing basis, GMS said.
It also hasn’t helped that most of the VLCCs and larger tankers sold recently were concluded with their respective cash buyers being responsible for the ‘gas free for hot works’ cleaning, in order to comply with the far more stringent standards for entry into India and Bangladesh.
Depending on the lightweight of the vessel and quantity of slops and sludge remaining on board, the cleaning operation can easily stretch over a month with the requisite funds being blocked for subsequent purchases.
Some end buyers were starting to lose faith that the Pakistan situation would be resolved soon and felt certain that “just another excuse” will be found in order to delay things further.
Consequently, overall the sub-continent markets slowed down last week and fresh market fixtures were hard to come by, as many owners started to temporise the sale of their units in the growing face of lower than ‘last done’ market offerings.
Unfortunately, it seems that subsequent sales will likely be chasing down the market in the coming days/weeks, GMS concluded.
Indeed, brokers only reported a few sales recently.
These included the 2000-built VLCC ‘Mistral’ sold to undisclosed interests for an unknown price level on the basis of ‘as is’ Khor Fakkan.
In addition, the 1998-built Suezmax ‘DS Warrior’ was thought sold for $440 per ldt on the basis of ‘as is’ Singapore, while the elderly Jones Act MR ‘Seabulk Trader’ (built 1981) was thought sold to Indian recyclers.
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