Rates Rise Amid Increased Activity, Lack Of Vessels

Friday, October 01, 1999
Mideast-Asia VLCC and Mediterranean Suezmax crude tanker rates have risen due to increased activity and a lack of vessels, shipping brokers said Sept. 29. VLCC rates to Japan from the Middle East lifted to W52.5 and were heading for W55, from around W47.5 last week, brokers said as cargoes finally came on the market. Other destinations were also lifted with brokers saying W50-52.5 might be reached for Singapore and China and W52.5 for Korea for modern vessels. "There is a lot of activity going East and not many decent vessels around, so we definitely see rates going up from now," one broker said. Bangchak, CPC, Nippon Oil and Cosmo were among charterers seeking vessels for Asian fixing between October 22-27, brokers said. Despite a lack of business being done westbound, last done VLCC rates from Mideast-U.S. Gulf had lifted to W47.5 from W45, a broker said. The Mediterranean also showed signs of strength with one million barrel tankers benefiting. Several Novorossiisk fixtures had lifted rates for Black Sea-Mediterranean Suezmax crossings to W77.5-80, with cross-Med voyages attracting W77.5. Last week's rates ranged from W65 to W75 at best. BP activity in the Mediterranean had helped lift rates, brokers said, while the Novorossiisk loadings had also taken out a number of modern ships in the area. Aframaxes continued their Mediterranean recovery with rates still hovering at W90 and above, following a 10 point rise last week from W80. Rates could hit W95, one broker said, adding he was surprised they had not already, while a shortage of prompt vessels continues for the next week or so. One private fixture had been done at W96.25 for a premium cargo, he added, while another broker said Italy's Most had paid W95 for Ceyhan-Venice with the 1999-built Bali Sea.

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