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WAF-Far East VLCC rates hit near 11-month high on Persian Gulf strength

WAF-Far East VLCC rates hit near 11-month high on Persian Gulf strength
A rising Persian Gulf market has caused West African VLCC rates to increase to a near 11-month high, Platts data shows.

A rising Persian Gulf market has caused West African VLCC rates to increase to a near 11-month high, Platts data shows.

Freight rates on the WAF-Far East route, basis 260,000 mt, were assessed up Worldscale 3.5 at w67.5 Thursday. This equates to $27.28/mt, the highest since an identical $27.28/mt assessment on January 22.

A larger percentage of VLCC cargoes load in the Persian Gulf than in any other region and as a result, movements in Persian Gulf VLCC rates are invariably followed by similar movements in other regions.

Rates on the Persian Gulf-Far East route, basis 270,000 mt, have risen w14 this week from w60 on Monday to a w74 assessment on Friday. The rising Persian Gulf market has encouraged Eastern ballasters to return to the Persian Gulf rather than sail to West Africa, shipping sources said. This has caused a tightening of the WAF tonnage list and a resulting rise in freight rates.

Also restricting tonnage in the Atlantic region has been an open fuel oil arbitrage from Rotterdam to Singapore, with three VLCCs fixed on the route in just over a week.
Shipping sources said the market should be able to stay around current levels until Christmas. “The consensus is that this market can stay where it is, or maybe even move up a bit more in the PG,” a shipowner said. “There’s reasonable strength there, WAF-East should stay in the high w60s.”

On the fixture front, Shell was heard to have put the Kokkari on subs at w72.5 for a WAF-Indonesia voyage with a January 16-20 laycan. Sources said that a deadweight restriction of 300,000 mt at Cilacap meant charterers had a smaller choice of vessels when discharging there, hence the higher freight rate.

www.turkishmaritime.com.tr

 

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