Long-range clean tanker rates were softer on Wednesday as business was slow, with weaker sentiment keeping rates under pressure.
Larger Long-Range 2 or LR2, 75,000 tonne shipments on the Middle East Gulf to Japan (MEG-JPN) route were at W115.50 or $21,207 a day on Wednesday.
That compared with W116.00 or $21,380 a day on Tuesday and W118.83 or $22,618 a day last Wednesday.
"The LR2 market in the East has come down another 2.5 points this week as we are now looking at W115 for MEG-JPN," broker Fearnleys said on Wednesday.
"Following the somewhat softening outlook last week, the LR1 market has fallen down to W117.5 levels for MEG-JPN."
Long-Range 1 tankers, carrying 55,000 tonne loads from the Middle East Gulf to Japan, reached W117.00 in the Worldscale measure, or $11,482 a day when translated into average earnings
That compared with W117.10 or $11,470 a day on Tuesday and W123.55 or $13,653 a day last Wednesday.
Rates for medium-range (MR) tankers for 37,000 tonne cargoes on the TC2 route from Rotterdam to New York were W117.75, or $7,442 a day.
That compared with W94.55 or $2,128 a day on Tuesday and W90.23 or $1,463 last Wednesday.
Brokers said a glut of MR tankers available for hire was keeping rates under pressure.
"MRs ... remained in their lethargic sideways pattern. Trading activity has been slow," RS Platou Markets said.
In January, earnings reached their highest level since early August last year.
Rates for MR tankers on the U.S. Gulf to Europe route were at W7.43, or negative at -$2,439 a day. That compared with W71.43 or -$2,689 a day on Tuesday and W75.00 or -$1,553 a day last Wednesday.
Average earnings per day are calculated after a vessel covers its voyage costs such as bunker fuel and port fees.
(Reporting by Jonathan Saul; editing by Jane Baird)