Tonnage glut drives LR1 spot rates to four-month low
Spot rates for long range one tankers shipping Middle East naphtha to East Asia dropped to a four-month low as the market was overwhelmed with available ships.
The rate on the Baltic Exchange"s TC5 route ? shipping 55,000 tonnes of naphtha from Saudi Arabia to Japan ? fell from W125 or $6,000 per day a week ago to W119, or $4,680 per day yesterday.
London brokers said owners were resisting pressure to drop their prices further as rates were already half the operating costs of these tankers.
?We feel this is round about the bottom of the market because owners don"t have much to give away now. The only thing that will influence things at these levels is that no one will be ballasting tankers from the West [of Suez] so the only tonnage available is already in the East. Even with these restrictions, there are more than enough ships to cover cargoes coming out in April,? a London broker said.
Greek broker Optima reported Korea"s Yeochun NCC fixed the 2008-built, 74,999 dwt Energy Centaur at a rate of W119 to ship Middle East naphtha to South Korea.
Daily earnings for long range two tankers were double of those of LR1s on Middle East to Japan voyages, but the oversupply of tonnage had driven rates W10 points lower to W110, equivalent of $8,650 per day, yesterday.
In the long range two sector, the market remained oversupplied, with 20 vessels out of a global fleet of 205 readily available in the Middle East. The rate for LR2s taking Middle East gasoil to Europe fell by $200,000 over the week to $1.6m.
In the Atlantic trading region, charter rates for LR2s for temporary floating storage assignments fell by $1,500 per day since last week to $15,000 per day as fewer traders were storing gasoil for profit.
Imarex Asia said there were 36 LR2s and nine LR1s storing clean petroleum products off Europe.