Baltic Aframax Rates Nosediving

Last week saw a distinct lack of activity for Aframaxes in the Baltic Sea, ultimately ending with a sharp downturn in Baltic-UK Continent 100,000 mt rates, Platts reports.

Platts says that the rates on the route plunged Worldscale 25 to be assessed at w65 Friday, which equates to USD 6.10/mt, the lowest level since an identical assessment on August 4.

Vitol was heard to have put the Phoenix Beacon on subjects at Worldscale 65 for a Primorsk-UKC voyage loading September 6. According to Platts, the charterer was not available for comment.

According to sources, the lack of spot fixtures during the week had created a lengthy tonnage list weighted heavily in favor of the charterers. According to Platts data, there were just two spot Baltic Aframax fixtures during the week.

“Every day we didn’t have a fixture the tonnage continued to build and build, the rates were always going to come off,” said a shipbroker to Platts.

The number of ships available in the Baltic and North Sea regions was said to be the key reason for the dropping rates. “It’s difficult to make an argument for anything other than w65 for Baltic-UKC. There are 13 ships opening in the Baltic that can make it to Primorsk by September 13,” another shipbroker disclosed to Platts.

Source: Platts

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