Tanker rates remained at a standstill for the two largest classes, VLCC and Suezmax. For Aframax, rates rose 30% to an average of $30,103 last week. This shows us, as assumed, that Aframax is not affected to the same extent by what is happening in China. Aframax rates are mainly driven by increased oil exports from the US to Europe. We expect this development to surface when the US puts in place new pipeline infrastructure that we are now beginning to see the result of. Therefore, we expect the rates for the Aframax segment to remain relatively solid throughout the first half of the year, despite the COVID-19 problem in the East.
Aframax – 12 month TC: $22,500
Aframax – Average spot market rate: $30,103
The dry cargo market is burdened by the problems in China, especially the Capesize class. China has such a large market share of the world’s iron ore and coal imports that the negative sentiment of COVID-19 cannot be avoided. We are past the end of the Chinese New Year celebration and can now see some improvement going forward. For the Panamax class, we can see hints of improvement in both the Pacific and the Atlantic. The rates rose slightly from the week before, but due to a steady decline in several areas in the south China Sea, we must expect that ships will move to more attractive markets, which can quickly put pressure on the rates.
Capesize 12 month TC: $14,125
Panamax 12 month TC: $10,375
The demand for older tonnage, especially within the Aframax and Suezmax segments is increasing. For example, indicative values for 10-year-old Aframax have risen from $29.0 M to $31.0 M. This is a positive outcome.
In the dry cargo market, we see that the appetite for scrapping ships has increased sharply. Over 2 million dwt of dry cargo ships have been sold for scrapping, compared to 500k dwt for tank. Market participants expect scrapped dry bulk activity to remain relatively high in an attempt to rebalance the market, which in the long run will increase the value of the remaining tonnage.