Date: 12/02/2024

Red Sea turmoil sinks freight rates for Suezmax

Red Sea disruptions have led to an influx of westward ballasters into the Atlantic region from the Persian Gulf, which has in turn played a major part in driving down freight rates for Suezmax voyages loading in West Africa. Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed the freight rate for the key 130,000 mt WAF-UK/Continent route at $16.98/mt on Feb. 6, 2024, down from a two-month high of $23.61/mt where rates had stood for most of the first half of January. The freight cost for the Persian Gulf-Mediterranean 140,000 mt route was assessed at $22.93/mt on Feb. 6, a near four-year high. Vessels ballasting away from the Persian Gulf had caused a build-up of tonnage in the WAF loading zone. Combined with lower cargo inquiry levels and a weakening US Gulf market, this has enabled charterers to fix voyages at lower rates, as per a report.
Source: Exim News Service: London, Feb. 11