According to a weekly tanker chattering report by Fearnleys, tanker rates in the Middle East Gulf (MEG) as well as in West Africa were pushed down due to a considerable slowdown. Registering a fair share of fewer cargoes in play at the same time shows a significant contrast from last week.
The weekly review indicated that there was a strong chance of rates having peaked in both MEG and West Africa but owners have still resisted the numerous attempts from charterers to shave the rate.
The Carribean/East market has accounted for record rates that are being paid for ships that end up in the area.
However, over the last week, the activity for the Suezmaxes has registered dramatic changes – rates have been going down for most primary routes.
According to Fearnleys the rates have most likely bottomed in the West Africa region and are even demonstrating some minor improvements.
Activity regarding the Med and Black Sea regions has been steady but rates are still far lower when in comparison to past peaks, due to the fact that delays in Turkish straits push on. Further declines were registered last week for the North Sea and Baltic Aframax market.
Fearnleys mentions that the export tax imposed on Russian volumes has been responsible for a much lighter cargo program in the month of December for the ports of Primorsk and Ust Luga. A tonnage build up in the area could not have been avoided and thus resulted in falling rates. The same applies to the situation in Mediterranean and Black Sea Aframaxes. Even the higher Turkish strait delays coupled with weather delays were simply not enough to pull off and keep the high levels that were registered recently.