Medium Range tanker freight rates west of Suez have bounced back after dropping to a year-low level following the Easter holidays, with fresh demand for West African gasoline enabling shipowners to push for higher rates.
The UK Continent-US Atlantic coast route for 37,000 mt cargoes jumped to Worldscale 135 Wednesday, back to a level last seen in the first week of March. The rate is up 12.5 points from Tuesday, and 32.5 points higher than the 2018 low of w102.5 touched on April 6.
“There were quite a few cargoes that came out and owners realized they were in a position to push rates, and then we saw a huge jump,” one broker said.
On Thursday morning, the Ridgebury John B was heard on subjects to Total for a 37,000 mt gasoline stem loading in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp area for a trans-Atlantic voyage at w135, with a WAF option at w155, and a laycan date of April 15.
The rates are in line with Wednesday’s fixtures, when the Bora Bora was heard on subjects to Valero for an April 17 loading of 37,000 mt of gasoline in Pembroke for a trans-Atlantic voyage at w135.
Also, ExxonMobil was heard to have taken the Puma on subs for a 37,0000 mt gasoline cargo on the Fawley-TA route at the same rate.
Around 10 MR tankers are currently open for loadings in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp area in the window up until April 19, according to a positions list seen by S&P Global Platts, while a list of available cargoes showed demand for those dates was at least matched.