LONDON: Refined petroleum tanker rates on top export routes were broadly steady on Monday in light activity although a glut of vessels and insufficient enquiry sent the transatlantic market to their lowest in nearly 10 months.
Rates for medium-range (MR) tankers from Rotterdam for 37,000 tonne cargoes to New York moved to W131.50 or $2,698 a day when translated into average earnings, from W133.54 on Friday $2,961 a day and W140.21 or $4,421 last Tuesday and at their lowest since Nov. 12 last year. There was no data last Monday due to a public holiday in the UK.
"Sentiment in the transatlantic MR market was negative, with a dearth of enquiries and severely over tonnaged position lists causing earnings to slide to a new year-to-date low," broker SSY said.
"Many emerging cargoes with mid/late September fixing windows seem to be quickly going on subs, suggesting charterers are eager to capitalise on current depressed market conditions in the event rates stabilise and rebound."
The MR transatlantic market has been erratic in recent months. Firmer activity in April pushed rates to their highest since 2008 on a jump in US gasoline demand, helping to reduce the number of tankers available for hire.
"The growing disinterest by owners to trade across the Atlantic should see a stabilisation of rates as fundamentals fail to further erode accordingly," broker CR Weber said.
Long Range 1 tankers, carrying 55,000-tonne loads, were at W146.35, from W147.88 on Friday and W152.00 last Tuesday.
"The recent gains in the LR market proved unsustainable," SSY said.
Typical Long Range 2 75,000 tonne shipments from the Middle East Gulf to Japan stood at W125.21 in the World-scale measure of freight rates from W125.21 on Friday and W124.30 last Tuesday
"LR2s have looked busier but rates so far have not managed to rise," broker E.A. Gibson said.
In the Mediterranean, 30,000 tonne shipments ex-Algeria to southern Europe were at W137.22 from W137.22 on Friday and W137.28 last Tuesday.
"A number of questions being asked for importing gasoil into Libya and with limited tonnage willing this run at the moment, the market is commanding around WS 40-60 points premium over the market," Gibson said.
Copyright Reuters, 2011