Abundance Of Ships Keeps Rates Depressed

Friday, November 05, 1999
Charter rates for product tankers continued to be depressed as surplus tonnage kept a lid on rises last week despite an increase in business in several loading areas. The Middle East saw levels fall. Tankers carrying 25,000 tons into India were seen taking W165, the same for 30,000 tons to Japan. Larger ships carrying 75,000 tons to Japan were attracting around W120. Shipping brokerage E.A. Gibsons said there was sufficient prompt tonnage of LR 2s to indicate that rate may decline further. Increased chartering in the Mediterranean did not propel rates higher. Shippers said it was an all-too familiar problem of too many ships chasing too few cargoes. Rates for 30,000 tons of gas oil hovered around W110-120 with naphtha cargoes of 27,500 were able to secure carriage around W150. The Caribbean up U.S. coast market was faced with sparse business and plentiful tonnage. Brokers said rates were around W150 for 30,000 tons. In the U.K./continent an increase in gas oil lifting from Ventspils has meant 70,000 tons going for W80 for local destinations. Crude Tanker Rates Steady Crude tanker rates were broadly steady in most lifting sectors around the world, although the North Sea market did soften, brokers said. In the key Middle East Gulf VLCCs of 250,000 tons were concluded around W50 for Asian destinations. Brokers said there has been good fixing and the fact that rates have not risen was a reflection of the high level of available tonnage. Brokers E.A. Gibsons estimated there was a total of 18.5 million tons of carrying capacity available for November. Gibson said the current level of brisk fixing needs to continue if charter rates are to rise. - (Reuters)

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