Atlantic rates pull back for MR tankers

Spot market drops on backhaul weakness as uncertainty emerges on westbound route.

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Spot rates for medium-range (MR) tankers are sinking in the Atlantic market as eastbound weakness outweighs recent fronthaul improvements.

The average time-charter equivalent rate on the triangular trade between Europe, the US Atlantic Coast and US Gulf of Mexico sank 7% today alone, bringing it to $17,300 per day.

That contributed to a 12.3% plunge from this time last week, when rates in the Atlantic basket stood at nearly $19,800 per day.

The decline is fuelled by a 23.2% slump on the backhaul route from the US Gulf to Europe.

Rates on the fronthaul TC2 trade from Europe to the USAC have been improving in recent days, but it is not clear how long the trend will continue.

“Despite a number of vessels on subs, there are not huge amounts in the way of outstanding cargoes,” said shipbrokerage Howe Robinson in a daily report. “More enquiry will be needed tomorrow in order for the market to be pushed back up from these levels.”

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