Crude oil tanker rates maintained recent strength as markets continued active ahead of the Christmas break, shipping brokers said on Dec. 23.
"Aframax and Suezmax markets are still bouyant; only VLCCs are still struggling along," one broker said.
fixed ahead of the holiday
s next week which
would leave just Wednesday and Thursday for London brokers to trade. Not much activity was expected then.
Continued shortage of tonnage for prompt dates were holding UK-Continent Aframax rates in the region of W150-160 ($5.50-5.85 per ton), slipping from a high of W165 achieved early this week.
Cross Mediterranean voyages for the 80,000 ton vessels could achieve up to W122.5 ($4.20 per ton) while rates from the Mideast to Far East were about W130 ($13.75).
Caribbean - upcoast U.S. rates for 70,000 ton cargoes were also on the march with reports varying between W145 ($5.85) and W165 ($6.65 per ton).
One million barrel Suezmaxes continued strong in the Atlantic with rates of W110 ($9.65 per ton) and W112.5 ($9.85) reported for West Africa-U.S. journeys and cross Mediterranean levels heading towards W120 ($4.15) as a result of restarted Ceyhan liftings.
VLCCs out of the Middle East continued to hold levels of around W52 ($5.50 per ton) for Japan, W47.5 ($4.50 ) for Korea and W45 ($7.40) for the U.S. Gulf.
Rates were expected to hold up in early January but slip away toward the middle of the month when some brokers forecast a lull after recent demand to stock up on crude supplies. - (Reuters)