Spot VLCC earnings have nearly halved this week amid low activity in the Middle East Gulf (MEG) and elsewhere.

On the Baltic Exchange, time charter equivalent rates for the benchmark MEG-China trade were assessed at $21,080 per day as of Wednesday afternoon, down from $40,117 per day on Monday.

“The dam has burst, and VLCC rates have taken an – overdue – nosedive,” said shipbroker Fearnleys, adding that the July market has a weak start with the June cargo count in the MEG at an 18-year low.