Mediterranean Aframax freight rates plummet on lack of inquiry: sources
Freight rates on the cross-Mediterranean route, basis 80,000 mt, were assessed Worldscale 65 lower Thursday at w145, with further rate decreases anticipated in the coming days. Rates on the Black Sea-Med route dropped w70 to w145.
Socar was heard to have put a ship on subjects at w145 for a Ceyhan-Mediterranean voyage loading December 6-8. The fixture was a replacement for a previous deal at w185.
A thin December loading program at the Russian port of Novorossiisk and a reduction in Libyan inquiry has meant that the Mediterranean Aframax sector has been extremely quiet this week. “A shipowner won’t just come in, regardless of whether the market is soft and drop things by w45 if that’s not where the market is. I think Friday will be quiet and then Monday will be very soft,” said a shipbroker.
The fact that several Aframax stems had gone on Suezmaxes in recent weeks had left a shortage of business remaining for the Aframaxes, sources said. “The market went up too high too quickly and has now dropped too low too quickly. The early Aframaxes overplayed their hand and lost cargoes to the Suezmaxes,” said a shipowner.