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Tanker Market

64

OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report – August 2017

July

arrivals

in North American ports showed the only decline during the month as they dropped by

0.51 mb/d, while arrivals at Europe, the Far East and West Asia all increased by 0.04 mb/d, 0.09 mb/d and

0.19 mb/d, respectively, to average 12.04 mb/d, 8.83 mb/d and 4.68 mb/d.

Dirty tanker freight rates

Graph 7 - 1: Crude oil spot tanker freight rates, monthly average

VLCC

While the month started with slim activity in general for

VLCCs

as the chartering market lacked new

requirements, the tonnage list nevertheless remained long enough to easily meet even rapid requirements.

Earnings remained at very low levels despite some improvement in activity at the end of the first week of the

month; however, that rarely translated into any significant increase in freight rates. Rates were often kept

under pressure in several markets as the loading requirements remained limited, keeping rates under

pressure. VLCC spot freight rates for tankers operating on the Middle East-to-East route showed an increase

of only WS1 point from the previous month, to average WS52 points in July. VLCC spot freight rates for

tankers operating on the West Africa-to-East route dropped by only WS2 point from a month earlier to

average WS54 points. VLCC spot freight rates on the Middle East-to-West long-haul route showed no

changes from the previous month to average WS26 points. Generally spot freight rates exhibited typical

seasonal developments usually seen in the summer months. Annually, average spot freight rates for VLCCs

were higher by 13% than the same month a year before.

Table 7 - 3: Dirty VLCC spot tanker freight rates, Worldscale

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

Jul 16

Aug 16

Sep 16

Oct 16

Nov 16

Dec 16

Jan 17

Feb 17

Mar 17

Apr 17

May 17

Jun 17

Jul 17

Worldscale

Worldscale

Middle East/East (VLCC)

West Africa/USGC (Suezmax)

Mediterranean/Northwest Europe (Aframax)

Sources: Argus and Platts.

Size

Change

1,000 DWT

May 17 Jun 17 Jul 17 Jul 17/Jun 17

Middle East/East

230-280

55

51

52

1

Middle East/West

270-285

29

26

26

0

West Africa/East

260

58

56

54

-2

Sources: Argus Media and OPEC Secretariat.