Freight rates for VLCCs have surged by 15 Worldscale points since last week as chartering for October sailings gets under way.
On 21 September, the Baltic Dirty Tanker Index assessed the benchmark Gulf-Far East rate at W63, or USD68,000/day, up from W48 on 14 September.
A Singapore-based broker told IHS Maritime, “The winter programme has truly started and owners are enjoying the seasonal uptick. There are more cargoes than ships available and the fall in bunker prices is another boon.”
Reported fixtures show ST Shipping taking Captain X Kyriakou and Taiwan’s CPC Corporation fixing Millennium, both at W63, to haul crude oil from the Gulf to China and Taiwan.
A London-based broker said the surge in rates proved that the lull in August was seasonal.
“It is normal for rates to soften in August as demand weakens in summer,” said the broker.
Singapore broker Strait Shipbrokers said 30 west African cargoes might become available for October loading, while only 14 such cargoes had been covered. This would create more demand for tankers.