As America’s ‘driving season’ draws to a close, spot rates have fallen to their lowest level in four months for product tankers heading across the Atlantic and to the Caribbean from the US.
The summer season means there has been limited enquiry for vessel fixtures, and arbitrage economics remain poor.
This has led to spot rates on the TC14 (US Gulf to Europe) and TC3 (Aruba to the US Atlantic Coast) routes falling to their lowest levels since April, according to brokers.
“We see Worldscale (WS) 90 on subjects for the backhaul and WS 117.5 on subjects for Caribbean/up coast,” Florida-based shipbroker Southport Maritime said in a report today.
“Even at current levels we understand traders still find it difficult to make sense to move product. We are already seeing some USAC [US Atlantic Coast] positions ballast across in light of a slight tick up in what was previously a low for the Continent market.”
Phillips 66 is reported to have fixed Sovcomflot’s MR product tanker Tverskoy Bridge (46,700 dwt, built 2007) on subjects for WS 90 (minus $550,000) for a trip from the US Gulf across the Atlantic / to the Caribbean, loading August 23.
“US gasoline demand has hit record levels as cheap prices have encourage more road travel, but this has not helped much in terms of easing the oversupply. Refineries, which have operated at peak levels, will, at some point have to go through maintenance, perhaps more extensive than normal due to excessive wear and tear,” Southport Maritime commented.