Clean Tanker Spot Freight Rates Increased 43% in January.
The clean tanker market rose in January but below the rise in crude spot freight rates. On average, clean tanker spot freight rates increased 43% on all reported routes. East of Suez clean spot freight rates saw gains of 17% in January, on the back of the amendment to the WS flat rate coupled with increased activity. On an annual basis, East of Suez product spot freight rates increased 49% in January. In West of Suez, clean spot freight rates increased in January with North-West Europe to the US rates experiencing the highest increase. Clean spot freight rates for voyages from the Mediterranean rose 52% in January from the previous month. Port delays coupled with increased activities supported freight rates in addition to owners" resistance to accepting similar level of WS as in the end of 2009 due to the change in flat rates. From the Caribbean, clean spot freight rates rose in January with an increase of 47% from the previous month. Weather conditions and port delays increased activity and hence supported freight rates. From North-West Europe to the US, clean spot freight rates increased 72% in January from the previous month, the highest among all clean spot freight rates. Plenty of activities supported by arbitrage movements as well as weather conditions. On an annual basis, West of Suez clean spot freight rates indicated a 60% increase in January.
According to official OPEC"s data Total spot fixtures increased 0.4 mb/d to stand slightly below 19 mb/d. The pick up in activity after the December holidays supported gains as charterers looked to cover open positions. OPEC spot tanker fixtures increased by 10.4% due to higher market activities. OPEC Middle East Members were the main driver of the January increase, while spot fixtures from OPEC Members outside the Middle East declined. Both Middle East to west and east spot fixtures showed healthy gains with Middle East to west fixtures indicating a gain of 34% in January compared to the previous month. On an annual basis, global spot fixtures experienced growth of 5% in January, broadly in line with OPEC spot fixtures.
Tanker sailings from OPEC ports on average fell in January by about 0.1 mb/d, according to preliminary data. OPEC sailings on an annual basis indicated a 3% decline in January, in line with the production level. Middle East tanker loadings remained relatively steady in December.
However, arrivals of crude oil tankers in USA during January fell by 3.9% on lower imports. European arrivals declined 3.6% while those to the Far East remained relatively steady.