Charterers act on VLCC deals while rates are low.
THREE very large crude carriers were hired on time charter contracts last week as charterers took the opportunity to lock in vessels while rates were low.
Malaysia"s Titan Petrochemicals paid the lowest price, chartering the 1995-built, 298,306 dwt Camden from Knightsbridge Tankers at $24,000 per day for 30 months.
Last week, Knightsbridge Tankers said the charter would leave just one of its fleet of four VLCCs available for time charter, the 1995-built VLCC Mayfair , which is due to be redelivered from an existing charter next month.
In contrast, for a newbuilding VLCC, Petrobras have agreed to pay Greece"s Maran Tanker Management $31,500 per day for the 2009-built, 318,440 dwt Astro Chloe on a three-year contract.
Meanwhile, Today Makes Tomorrow has chartered the 2010-built, 309,774 dwt Sanko Queen , due for delivery from Imabari Shipbuilding this month, for $48,000 per day on a five-year time charter.
London broker Clarksons, which reported the time charter fixtures, rated a three-year time charter contract for a modern VLCC at approximately $34,000 per day.
By comparison, the Baltic Exchange"s average daily time charter equivalent earnings for a VLCC dropped to $20,485 on Friday, compared with a high of $65,100 per day during the post-Christmas tanker rally.
Also last week, an unknown charterer reportedly booked Novoship"s 2005-built, 105,000 dwt aframax NS Champion at $25,000 per day for an undisclosed period.
In the product tanker sector, Middle East tanker company Vela International chartered the 2009-built, 37,000 dwt Alpine Hallie for six months at $14,000 per day from ST Shipping & Transport.
This was $3,000 higher than Clarksons" assessment for a one-year time charter of $11,000 per day, for a modern 37,000 dwt product tanker.
Danish shipping group Weco was also reported to have chartered the 2009-built, 47,000 dwt Aegean Wave for 12 months at $12,000 per day, down from Clarksons estimates of a one year time charter for this size vessel at $14,000.