SINGAPORE (Dow Jones)–The Asian crude tanker market will likely stay weak due to persistent oversupply, while vessels carrying clean petroleum products are plagued by low demand amid the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference week in Singapore.
The spot rate for a 260,000-metric-ton Very Large Crude Carrier from the Middle East to Japan was assessed Monday at Worldscale 46.11, or minus $1,789 a day, down from W47.34 a week ago, the Baltic Exchange said.
The rate for a VLCC from West Africa to China fell to W42.50 from W43.36, hitting another year-to-date low.
Despite a pick-up in charter demand from Chinese firms, rates remain weak as high ship availability continues to weigh on sentiment, broker Simpson, Spence & Young said in a research note.
Another broker, Meiwa International, estimated that 83 cargoes have already been fixed to be loaded this month, and booking activities won’t end for another two weeks.
Meanwhile, freight rates for carrying clean petroleum products appear to have peaked, with charterers taking a week-long break for attending events, brokers said.
“It seems like end-user requirements were already covered last week…so this week’s market could be very quiet,” a broker said.
The rate for a 55,000-ton LR-1 cargo from the Middle East to Japan dropped to a two-week low of W153.13 Tuesday from a week-ago level of W146.35, although the rate for a 75,000-ton LR-2 cargo for the same route inched up to W125.21 from W124.55.
The rate for a 30,000-ton tanker from Singapore to Japan rose slightly to W156.21 from W155.96.
-By Max Lin, Dow Jones Newswires, image courtesy Frontline Tankers