23 June 1997 00:00 [Source: ACN]
Ethylene shipments increase to Malaysia and Taiwan to cover cracker shutdowns
BUSINESS was weak on all routes for the whole range of chemical tanker sizes. Rates stayed flat. Enquiries were down from May.
NEA to SEA: Markets were very quiet, with few enquiries reported. Capacity expansions in SEA have reduced southbound trade, shipowners said. Ships have been waiting in South Korean ports for as long as a week to secure complete cargoes.
Shipowner ideas for 2000 tonne of easy chemicals from Ulsan to SEA were US$28-30/tonne for June lifting. Charterer ideas were US$25-28/tonne.
Rates for 1000 tonne of easy chemicals from South Korea to SEA were US$30-32/tonne for June lifting. Rates for 5000 tonne of BTX from South Korea or Japan to SEA were US$20-22/tonne for June lifting. A 1000-tonne cargo of phenol from Taiwan to Kandla was reported at US$60/tonne for June lifting.
NEA intratrade: Competition for cargoes from South Korea to China was strong. Competition and weak demand continued to keep rates low. Most business was being handled by South Korean shipowners offering very competitive rates, sources said.
Charterer ideas from Ulsan to Ningbo were US$13-14/tonne for 2000-3000 tonne lifting in June. Most June business was concluded at US$15-16/tonne for 2000-3000-tonne cargoes of easy chemicals.
Rate ideas for 2000-3000-tonne cargoes from Ulsan to southern China were US$20-22/tonne for June lifting. Rate ideas for 1000 tonne of easy chemicals were US$30-32/tonne for June lifting. Rates for 2000-tonne shipments from South Korea to Japan were US$15-18/tonne for June lifting.
SEA to NEA: Rates were still weak, but capacity increases in the region, especially in Thailand, promised to increase the volume of northbound cargoes.
A few mixed xylenes shipments were reported from SEA to South Korea. One 5000-tonne fixture of mixed xylenes from Thailand to South Korea was done at US$20/tonne for June lifting, US$5/tonne below shipowner ideas. Another 5000 tonne from Singapore to South Korea was reported at US$21-22/tonne for June lifting.
There was an increase in enquiries for shipments to China. Some deals have been done but rates were low. Shipowner ideas for 3000-4000 tonne of easy chemicals from Thailand to Nanjing were US$28-30/tonne for June lifting. One fixture of 3000 tonne of BTX from Mab Ta Phut to Nanjing was concluded at US$28/tonne for June lifting.
Trade in edible oils and molasses continue to make up a big part of the parcel tanker business because of weak chemical markets.
SEA intratrade: Markets were slow. Most shipments were done under contract. Shipowner ideas for 1000-tonne cargoes of easy chemicals from Singapore to Merak were US$20-22/tonne for June. Rate ideas for 3000-tonne cargoes were US$16-17/tonne.
US to Asia: Business was slowing down. There were few enquiries for BTX from the US Gulf to Asia. Some ships were moving with incomplete cargoes. Rates for 5000-tonne BTX cargoes from the US Gulf to Asia were US$40-42/tonne for June lifting.
Europe to Asia: Markets were quiet, with fewer ships reported employed on the route. Rates for 1000 tonne of easy chemicals from Rotterdam to Asia were US$70/tonne for June lifting.
Ethylene: Several cargoes were exported to Malaysia and Taiwan to cover the shutdowns of Ethylene Malaysia and Chinese Petroleum Corp. The rate for 5000 tonne for 15-20 June lifting from Libya was settled at US$148/tonne for shipment to SEA.
A 3000-tonne cargo was shipped from Pasir Gudang, Malaysia, to Indonesia at a rate of US$50-55/tonne. The freight on a Thai cargo for early June delivery to Malaysia was US$60/tonne.
Propylene: Business picked up as product prices fell. Rate ideas for 5000-6000-tonne cargoes from Libya to SEA were around US$100/tonne. A prompt 1200-tonne cargo of refinery-grade material shipped from Singapore to Indonesia was reportedly agreed at US$45-50/tonne, sources said.
A 2500-tonne fixture which loaded 13-15 June from Kuantan, Malaysia, for Kaohsiung, Taiwan, was reported at US$65-70/tonne, but industry sources believe the rate was about US$10/tonne lower. A 2000-tonne cargo was shipped from Yosu, South Korea, to Kaoh-siung in early June at US$55/tonne.
Butadiene: Rates on trans-Atlantic routes were under pressure in quiet markets. Players expect business will improve if US contract prices increase next month. Charterer ideas were in the US$80s/tonne for June shipments from NWE to the US Gulf.
The freight rate on a 1000-tonne cargo shipped from Mab Ta Phut, Thailand, to Kandla, India, in June was US$180/tonne. The rate on a 6000-tonne cargo from Yeochon to the US was agreed at US$75-80/tonne for late June lifting.
Vinyl chloride monomer: Freight markets were very quiet as low product prices limited interest in fixtures. Rate ideas for the US Gulf to SEA or NEA slipped further, but actual rates were holding relatively steady, sources said. The rate for a 10 000-tonne cargo to Australia was settled at US$115-120/tonne for June loading from the US Gulf.
Ammonia: Rates remained relatively stable. Freight on a 20 000-tonne shipment from the AG for July delivery to Taiwan was agreed at US$40-42/tonne. The rate for 15 000 tonne for June lifting from the AG to Thailand was agreed at US$38-40/tonne.
Charterers were enquiring for an additional 15 000 shipment to Thailand for 15-30 August arrival.
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