Long Range tanker freight rates on ARA-WAF route at lowest recorded levels
Sept 19, 2016: Long Range tanker rates on the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp to West Africa route have dropped to their lowest recorded level with shipping sources citing lackluster gasoil cargo activity. Freight rates dropped by 69 cents Thursday to be assessed at $9.66/mt- the lowest level since November 2013 when Platts started assessing the trip at 60,000 mt. “The market is depressing; there hasn’t been any activity over the last two weeks. The deals reported so far are at w65 and w67.5 respectively,” a shipbroker said. 0.3 per cent gasoil is typically transported from ARA on LRs, but recent tightness in the market for 0.1 per cent, for which prices reached an 18-month high last week, has led to ARA being a less favorable export location than before. So while freight costs may be lower the opportunities to capitalize on it may not materialize as suppliers look to the Middle East, India and the Far East for resupply volumes. Equally there is no great impetus to rush to supply the market as it remains very long, with some questioning the ability of exporters to make money in the offshore Lome market.