Atlantic Rates Take a Beating

Friday, February 02, 2001
Freight for million-barrel tankers has taken a severe beating on routes from their traditional strongholds of West Africa and the Mediterranean, brokers said Friday.

"I can't really explain it, and I don't see much sign of imminent recovery," said one London tanker broker.

"There's been a massive amount of VLCCs fixed out of West Africa in the last three weeks," he said, implying that the bigger ships had taken all the million-barrel tankers' potential trade.

London's Baltic Exchange down rated its assessment of the route by nearly 22 points to W122 on Thursday. Friday fixture lists show two failed fixtures from West Africa by Sun at W120 and one by Hess to St Croix at W117.5.

The continued absence of Iraq from the Mediterranean market has also had an impact. "We saw Ceyhan starting to flow, but that never really happened, and what was done was done on VLCCs," said the London broker.

Oslo brokers reported Friday that Saras had taken a ship from Sidi Kerir to Italy at W115. The Baltic Exchange assessment for that route fell 30 points Thursday to W130, having stood at W163 last Friday. - (Reuters)

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