Asian tanker rates started heading downhill this week after two months of stability, Singapore broker
s said. "It's softened quite a bit since last week," said one clean tanker broker from a major international broking house. "There's no cargoes and lots of ships on the spot market are coming open for early July."
He pegged the benchmark route from Singapore to Japan
at W285 ($18.67 per ton) for 30,000 ton cargoes. "Older tonnage, non-approved tonnage, might go for cheaper, say W280," he added.
Brokers said the route had remained stable at W295 ($19.33 per ton) since the start of May, but fell to W290 on Friday before weakening further over the weekend. London tanker broker Gibsons warned
on Friday of a downturn in clean tanker trades. "Until the volume of product to be shipped increases and longer haul trade returns, the forecast remains bleak in the short-term," it said.
The key Asian long-range trade from the Mideast Gulf to the Far East last week failed to make the gains that had been predicted for it.
"We've just seen a 75,000 ton cargo fail at W232.5, so that puts last done back down at W230 ($29.30 per ton)," said a Singapore broker. Last Tuesday brokers pegged the trade at W235 ($29.94 per ton). This followed a major improvement on May figures, when the trade hit a low of W185 ($23.57 per ton). - (Reuters)