The past week saw freight rates for both clean and dirty handy tankers in the Black Sea and Mediterranean surge to record levels, according to brokers Gibson.
Analysts at Alphatanker also reported on Friday how the cross-Mediterranean tanker market had caught fire in the wake of the release of a number of date-specific cargoes plus delays building following bad weather in the region. Rates on the benchmark MR1 trade (TC6) from Skikda to Marseille were standing at WS 337 on Friday compared with WS 195 one week earlier.
“Such supercharged rates have made this sector one of the best performing asset classes in recent weeks. But the Handy sector has interestingly been devoid of investment in recent years, with effectively no order book and an ageing fleet,” Gibson noted in its latest weekly report. By the end of next year there will be just 279 handies that are less than 15 years old, according to Gibson data.