The cross-Mediterranean clean Handysize tanker market, basis 30,000 mt, has fallen over the last week to reach the lowest point of 2017, assessed at Worldscale 127.5, amid an oversupply of tonnage in the region.
A large number of available prompt vessels combined with a lack of fresh cargoes on offer have left owners scrambling for voyages.
“Owners are not even covering their operational cost,” one broker said.
Each week in July, the market has awaited a fresh batch of cargoes to be offered, but new sustainable volumes of cargoes are yet to surface.
The Black Sea has seen cargoes being released into the market, although these are quickly snapped up, sources said.
“There should be more cargoes coming out of the Black Sea but there is so much tonnage available you don’t see the cargoes because they are already done and disappear quietly under the radar,” a second broker said.
The outlook for the Mediterranean Handysize market is bearish, sources said, adding that it will be dependent on the number of fresh cargoes coming to the market.
“The market is soft and less [fixtures] will be done unfortunately,” a third broker said.
However, while the quiet activity levels have contributed to the soft freight rates, the current lull is also considered typical of this time of year.
“There are no delays and it’s the summer period,” one broker said.
The highest freight rate of 2017 was seen in on March 23, at w270, double the market level of w127.5 for Wednesday.