ME Gulf eastbound rates climbed amid tightening space
ME Gulf/NE Asia rates rose USD 2 last week
5kt ME Gulf eastbound freights climbed USD 2 over the last week to USD 51/mt, on the back of reduced tonnage supply. Tonnage space is likely to remain tight going into the next month, according to Eastport brokers. Eastport Research & Strategy is forecasting freights to increase in early 2020, after the IMO low sulphur fuel oil regulation kicks in. Long haul rates are projected to hike 22% in order to cover higher bunker costs associated with the switch to 0.5% very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO). If more owners are using the VLSFO ahead of 2020, this may pose some upside risks to our forecasts.