The activity for the VLCC’s has been going from hot to cold during the last week. The Feb program in the Meg is well under way with some 25 deals concluded. Jan ended with a total 135 with a very bizy 3rd decade. If history repeats itself, we may have a slower first decade but it remains to be seen. 1st half Feb dates Wafr/East has been active, absorbing ships from the East. Rates have therefore shown resilience and remain firmer than most had expected. Tonnage appears to build up and rates likely to come under pressure in the near term. With end Jan dates being tidied up there was anticipation that early Feb would bring renewed pressure. However charterers were slow to reveal their hand knowingly holding back on stems. So far this week a drip feed of cargoes has caused a sense of panic and owners have had to accept a falling market. Despite ice in some of the strategic Baltic ports, Aframaxes have been trading down slowly from last done levels. Rates should dip below w100 for end month dates. The Nsea Aframax market is under downward pressure as well. Market has seemed very quiet for the last week. The winter season in terms of uncertain weather has taken full effect in the Med and Bsea this week. Turkish strait is currently closed and there are heavy delays in several strategical ports.
EAST OF SUEZ It has been a painful week in the Middle East Gulf with rates sliding further.
Levels for Brazil have strengthened as a sudden urge for prompt tonnage have cleaned out most of ballasters. This strong demand for prompt Brazil loaders have made an impact on the general sentiment pushing other routs up as well. Especially the Atlantic have seen an impressive increase with the trans-Atlantic now trading at high teens.
Panamax rates are under pressure in both hemispheres and vessels are piling up. WIth the Chinese Lunar New Year approaching, Chinese players are reducing activity and volumes overall expected to fall. Volatile in the Indian Ocean with rates fluctuating 30 cents/mt day on day.
Market remained flat and the week continued at the same pace as last. Meanwhile, most orders have been received from US Gulf.
The Baltic VLGC index has been ticking up every day last week and has gained some 15/20% over the week, and we will not be surprised to see the index and actual fixtures climb further in the (very) short term - in particular for the MEG/East route.
Hoegh LNG announced today two newbuilding contracts at HHI and SHI respectively.
Sale and Purchase Transactions