VLCCs head downward

Rates for VLCC spot fixtures are heading downward after spending last week at multi-month highs.

The Baltic Exchange’s assessment for the TD3 route between the Middle East and Japan fell to WorldScale (WS) 48.1 today, or $23,600 per day.

That was a drop of WS 1.81 from the prior day and marked the fifth straight decrease on the route, which peaked on 15 August at WS 53.9, the highest level since late February.

The TD1 route from the Middle East to the US Gulf also fell to WS 25.9 today, or negative $12,500 per day, from WS 29.8 at the start of last week.

“The charterers have kept their cards close to their chests and gone about their chartering in a very cautious manner to try to infuse some uncertainty of the market and have managed to turn the previously bullish sentiment,” wrote Olso shipbroker Fearnleys in its weekly report today.

The overall VLCC time charter equivalent assessment stands at $5,550 per day today, down from nearly $13,700 at the start of last week.

Though ex-West Africa routes also saw rates come under pressures, Fearnleys says eastbound fixtures out of the Caribbean remain firm thanks to low vessel supply.