Things have been far from moving in the product tanker markets this past week. In the clean products markets, in the East, shipbroker Gibson said in its latest weekly report that “it has been a very quiet week on the LR2s, but a fairly busy one on LR1s. LR1s saw a fair number of cargoes and rates edged up accordingly with 55,000mt naphtha AGulf/Japan up some 5 points to ws 130. West rates are steady though and back to where they started the week with 65,000mt jet AGulf/UKCont at $1.325 million. LR2s have struggled with very little business quoting. 75,000mt naphtha is down 10 points at ws 112.5, after one cargo finally quoted yesterday. 90,000mt jet AGulf/UKCont is also down with $50,000k taken off the rates down to $1.775 million. We expect to see more of this rate going into next week”.

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Simiarly, it’s been “an incredibly slow week on the MRs, which have seen very little movement at all. Silver lining as far as Owners are concerned, is the fact that we have seen a fair amount of longhaul fully fixed back end of last week and beginning of this. The list has therefore been able to withstand a reduction in the supply of cargoes and therefore cling on tightly to last done levels. Westbound cargoes have been very much untested this week, unsurprising given the considerable softening seen on the larger tonnage; it makes far greater economic sense to stem up any cargoes where possible and focus on the weak LR2 market. These finish the week at $1.2 million, but should be negatively tested on the next done. Eastbound again have been treading water at the 35 x ws 180 levels, put on subs and failed towards the back end of the week, but same argument applicable here in terms of Charterers pinpointing larger tonnage. EAF now sits at ws 212.5 – a tried and tested favourite amongst Owners at the moment which Charterers seem happy to clean away at last done levels. Shorthaul sits at the $210k levels, although a healthy supply of prompt tonnage means that prompter dates will be covered sub $200k. Runs into the Red Sea have not moved off the cheap $500k levels seen last week. Although there is little being loaded in the Red Sea, much of the tonnage there is sitting off on Financial Hold so workable tonnage remains thin. With LR2s due an active week next week, we are likely to see another lack-lustre start. Action could pick up in the latter stages of the week”, said the Gibson.

In the Mediterranean market, Gibson said that “fresh enquiry has persisted throughout week 47 which has allowed owners to clawback some Worldscale points with near enough every fixture. A main catalyst for this was the strong demand seen from the East Med, area which has now pushed rates up to 30 x ws 170 for XMed. With the tonnage list now tight especially in Central and East Med this could see rates continue to rise and also may put some strain on Black Sea stems, but for now that route trades at 30 x ws 175. The opposite was seen on the MRs this week with enquiry seen at a sluggish rate throughout meaning Owner’s weren’t able to capitalise on tight tonnage to drive rates up. Rates going East traded around the $825k mark for Med-AGulf runs however, if enquiry picks up at the beginning of next week, owners may be able to achieve more than last done levels”.

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Meanwhile, in the dirty products markets, in the MR segment, Gibson said that it was “a very static week in the continent, hardly surprising, considering the lack of naturally placed tonnage throughout. With the positions list only showing two potential candidates for Charterers to choose from we had to wait until midweek for levels to be tested. Elsewhere trend in the Med suffered a similar fate to the surrounding Handies with gains being seen week on week. That said, it would appear that once peaks were set we are now enduring a brief quieter spell where the market is being given the chance to reconcile recent events. Looking ahead, this sector is expected to be somewhat resilient to severe negativity where forward supply looks balanced”.

In the Panamax segment, the shipbroker added that “as expected this week, Thanksgiving in the US has given us a pre-holiday rush in the US where levels reacted steadily to the increased demand. Here in Europe where vessels for the short term at least ballast units do not wish to head, we have had to draw upon natural tonnage to recover the steady requirement seen Monday through Friday. In turn, this creates a sector poised for movement come Monday, but in which direction is yet to be decided as strength totally depends on what demand we see States side when markets reopen”, Gibson concluded.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News.