Last week displayed a solid increase in activity in the Mediterranean, interesting events occurred in the Baltic Sea around the Baltic. The Russia oil that originates from the pipelines of Ust-Luga is contaminated, buyers have already loaded a lot of ships, but there is no one who wants to take delivery as the oil is polluted. This means that these vessels will now disappear out of the market for a period until players want to receive the “contaminated” oil. As a result, Aframax spot rates rose last week by 25%. 1 year time charter contracts remain stable at $ 20,500. Now that we are slowly but surely heading out of the refineries’ maintenance period, we expect to see an increase in 12-month TC contracts throughout the spring and summer.
The dry cargo market then recovered last week when we saw that activity in the US Gulf increased significantly by 38%. The activity in the Atlantic remained at around the same level as the week before. In the Pacific region, there were some national holidays last week, but rates remained stable due to a lack of tonnage in the area.
There have been no transactions of interest in the secondhand market. The Aframax segment is still fairly calm, built up under the expectation that this segment will be very strong in the near future and thus make shipowners doubtful about selling ships. It was reported that the largest Aframax owning company in Greece, Minerva Marine, has ordered four newbuildings Aframax with delivery in 2021 without Scrubbers, which is very interesting. Will the benefit of scrubbers disappear already in 2021?