Freight rates for ships steaming between the UK Continent region and West Africa, basis 37,000 mt, have risen sharply over the last two days, up Worldscale 30 to w180 [$19.80/mt] Wednesday, on the back of a spurt in gasoline cargo activity.
“Wednesday was an active day for MRs plying their trade in Northwest Europe as West African demand has been the real driver here. There is w185 now on subjects for WAF, and with the list now super tight up until the March 26-28 loading window, more gains could be on the cards come Thursday,” a shipbroker said.
According to S&P Global Platts data, freight rates rose w15 or $1.65/mt Wednesday — matching Tuesday’s increase — to be assessed at $19.80/mt, a level last reached January 30.
MR tanker freight might rise to w195 levels [$21.45/mt] Thursday, shipping sources said, as shipowners offered ships at that rate and cargo inquiry prevailed.
“There will be higher done today I am guessing. People are talking w190-w195. There are still a couple of cargoes from the Baltic-WAF route basis 37,000 mt,” a second shipbroker said.
Larger ships carrying 60,000 mt cargoes echoed the firmer sentiment seen on Medium Range tankers. Freight rates on the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp to WAF trip, basis 60,000 mt, rose $1.10/mt to be assessed at $15.40/mt, the highest since January 18’s $15.68/mt.