UK shipbroker Braemar ACM has raised its estimate of chemical tanker earnings for 2022 as rates jump.

The London shop’s lead chemical analyst Ben Cooke told TradeWinds: “It has been a very interesting month in the chemical market with earnings shooting up considerably.”

He is calculating average daily time charter equivalent (TCE) earnings for non-eco J19-type vessels at between $13,000 and $14,000, with eco ships at between $15,000 and $16,000.

This is up $1,000 per day from the company’s estimate in March.

“However, the market is currently stronger than this average so if this market continues we may have to adjust this upwards,” Cooke added.

Last summer, Braemar ACM launched a joint venture with Womar Chemical Tanker Pools that aimed to independently benchmark the earnings of the deepsea J19 market, covering stainless-steel ships between 19,000 dwt and 22,500 dwt.

In April, earnings increased substantially, the broker said, with buoyant markets continuing in South East Asia, the Far East and especially the US Gulf, where exports were up 11% on March levels.

Weighted TCE equivalent earnings have far exceeded the non-weighted assessments due to the influx of vessels sailing into these stronger areas.

Cooke explained that non-weighted figures are derived from a simple average of 19 key routes, whereas the weighted index tracks the J19 fleet on a monthly basis, calculating the busiest routes and then adjusting the TCE depending on where ships were actually trading.

Orderbook to influence rates

“Beyond 2022, future earnings will be heavily influenced by newbuilding orders,” Braemar ACM said.

“As it stands, there are reasons to be doubtful that there will be a significant influx of orders for delivery in 2024/25,” the broker added.

Newbuilding prices are higher and container ships and bulker orders continue to hog slot space, the company said.

Braemar ACM also identifies 22 ships that will reach 25 years of age between now and the end of 2025, tightening the market further as they are removed from the fleet.