The coronavirus outbreak in China has put freight rates under pressure as it dented demand for oil and refined products, shipping market participants said. Shipowners, brokers, and charterers generally perceive the outbreak to last for weeks or months, with the impact already showing from cancelled flights from and to China by major airliners.
Clean tankers regularly ship gasoil and jet fuel from North Asia, India’s West Coast, and the Middle East to Singapore and Europe. These trades, along with naphtha and gasoline shipments, are crucial indicators in determining the freight rates.
According to some brokers’ estimates, VLCC owners currently earns $19,000/day to ship crude on the Persian Gulf-East Asia routes, compared to $105,000/day earnings at the beginning of 2019. The earnings for the Long Range clean tankers on the Persian Gulf-Japan route are estimated to range at $4,000-$7,000/day, plunging from $18,000/day in early January.