Vancouver Aframax rates at 6-month lows ahead of TMX

  • : Crude oil, Freight
  • 24/04/23

An oversupply of Aframax-size crude tankers on the west coast of the Americas in anticipation of the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pressured Vancouver-loading rates to six-month lows on 19 April.

With the 590,000 b/d TMX project expected to commence commercial service on 1 May, shipowners have positioned more vessels to be on the west coast to satisfy anticipated demand in Vancouver, but that demand has yet to materialize, leaving the Aframax market oversupplied for now, market participants said.

Aframax rates from Vancouver to the US west coast began falling in mid-to-late March as an increase of ballasters added to tonnage in the region, helping drop the rate to ship 80,000t of Cold Lake on that route to $1.50/bl on 19 April from $2.55/bl on 21 March, according to Argus data. The rate held at $1.50/bl on 22 April, the lowest since 2 October and just 3¢/bl higher than the lowest rate since Argus began assessing the route on 21 April 2023.

Similarly, the Vancouver-China Aframax rate also fell to a six-month low of $6.59/bl for Cold Lake on 19 April, down from $7.78/bl on 2 April, according to Argus data.

In addition to the ballasters, two Aframaxes — the Jag Lokesh and the New Activity — are hauling Argentinian crude to the US west coast and are expected to begin discharging on 3 and 6 May, respectively, according to Vortexa. The Argentinian port of Puerto Rosales is mostly restricted to Panamaxes but can accommodate smaller Aframaxes.

Downward pressure from across canal

A recent slump in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Aframax market, due in part to falling Mexican crude exports to the US Gulf coast, has exerted additional downward pressure, a shipowner said.

"Though markets at each side of the (Panama) Canal are different, softer sentiment looms in the region," the shipowner said.

Last week, a charterer hired two Aframaxes for west coast Panama-US west coast voyages, the first at WS102.5 and the second at WS95, equivalent to $12.71/t and $11.78/t, respectively, as multiple shipowners competed for the cargoes.

The Vancouver Aframax market typically draws from the same pool of vessels as the west coast Panama market. For example, the Yokosuka Spirit, one of the Aframaxes hired to load in west coast Panama, discharged a Cold Lake cargo in Los Angeles on 21-22 April after loading in Vancouver in mid-March, according to Vortexa and market participants.


Related news posts

Argus illuminates the markets by putting a lens on the areas that matter most to you. The market news and commentary we publish reveals vital insights that enable you to make stronger, well-informed decisions. Explore a selection of news stories related to this one.

24/06/17

Iran rebukes G7 over nuclear warning: Update

Iran rebukes G7 over nuclear warning: Update

Adds quotes from IAEA director general Dubai, 17 June (Argus) — Iran's foreign ministry has called on the G7 to distance itself from "destructive policies of the past" after the group issued a statement condemning Tehran's recent nuclear programme escalation. "Unfortunately, some countries, driven by political motives and by resorting to baseless and unproven claims, attempt to continue their failed and ineffective policy of imposing and maintaining sanctions against the Iranian nation," the foreign ministry's spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said on 16 June. Kanaani advised the G7 "to learn from past experiences and distance itself from destructive past policies". His comments were in response to a joint statement from G7 leaders on 14 June warning Iran against advancing its nuclear enrichment programme. The leaders said they would be ready to enforce new measures if Tehran were to transfer ballistic missiles to Russia. The G7's reference to Iran comes on the heels of a new resolution passed by the board of governors of the UN's nuclear watchdog the IAEA . The resolution calls on Iran to step up co-operation and reverse its decision to restrict the agency access to nuclear facilities by de-designating inspectors. Kanaani said "any attempt to link the war in Ukraine to the bilateral co-operation between Iran and Russia is an act with only biased political goals", adding that some countries are "resorting to false claims to continue sanctions" against Iran. Tehran will continue its "constructive interaction and technical co-operation" with the IAEA, Kanaani said. But the agency's resolution is "politically biased", he said. Not an "anti-Iran" policy In an interview with the Russian daily newspaper Izvestia published today, IAEA director general Rafael Grossi refused claims of political bias. "We do co-operate with Iran. I don't deny this. This is important for inspection. My Iranian colleagues often say that Iran is the most inspected country in the world. Well, it is, and for good reason. But this is not enough," Grossi said, adding that the IAEA does not adhere to an "anti-Iran policy". Grossi also stressed the need for countries to return to diplomacy with Iran, while expressing concerns over the expansion of its nuclear programme. "Russia plays a very important role in this diplomacy, trying to keep the Iranian programme within a predictable and peaceful framework. But again, everything needs to be controlled," he said. The IAEA's new resolution and the reference to Iran in the G7 statement could be the start of a more concerted effort to raise pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme. "What is happening right now is the process of accumulation of resolutions, so that when the day comes and the IAEA makes a referral to the UN Security Council, there will be enough resolutions to make a case for action at the security council level," a diplomatic source told Argus . Iran is enriching uranium to as high as 60pc purity. Near 90pc is considered to be weapons grade, according to the IAEA. By Bachar Halabi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Japex takes control of Norway-focused upstream venture


24/06/17
24/06/17

Japex takes control of Norway-focused upstream venture

Tokyo, 17 June (Argus) — Japanese upstream firm Japex has acquired a majority stake in Longboat Japex from London-listed independent Longboat Energy to take full control of the Norwegian oil and gas joint venture. Japex spent $2.5mn to buy the 50.1pc stake, which will completed during July-September this year, Japex said. It bought a 49.9pc stake in Longboat Japex from Longboat Energy in May last year, with the UK firm last year looking to raise extra funds through asset sales, farm-down deals or issuing new equity. By Reina Maeda Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Iran rebukes G7 after warning over nuclear escalation


24/06/17
24/06/17

Iran rebukes G7 after warning over nuclear escalation

Dubai, 17 June (Argus) — Iran's foreign ministry has called on the G7 to distance itself from "destructive policies of the past" after the group issued a statement condemning Tehran's recent nuclear programme escalation. "Unfortunately, some countries, driven by political motives and by resorting to baseless and unproven claims, attempt to continue their failed and ineffective policy of imposing and maintaining sanctions against the Iranian nation," the foreign ministry's spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said on 16 June. Kanaani advised the G7 "to learn from past experiences and distance itself from destructive past policies". His comments were in response to a joint statement from G7 leaders on 14 June warning Iran against advancing its nuclear enrichment programme. The leaders said they would be ready to enforce new measures if Tehran were to transfer ballistic missiles to Russia. The G7's reference to Iran comes on the heels of a new resolution passed by the board of governors of the UN's nuclear watchdog the IAEA . The resolution calls on Iran to step up co-operation and reverse its decision to restrict the agency access to nuclear facilities by de-designating inspectors. Kanaani said "any attempt to link the war in Ukraine to the bilateral co-operation between Iran and Russia is an act with only biased political goals", adding that some countries are "resorting to false claims to continue sanctions" against Iran. Tehran will continue its "constructive interaction and technical co-operation" with the IAEA, Kanaani said. But the agency's resolution is "politically biased", he said. The IAEA's new resolution and the reference to Iran in the G7 statement could be the start of a more concerted effort to raise pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme. "What is happening right now is the process of accumulation of resolutions, so that when the day comes and the IAEA makes a referral to the UN Security Council, there will be enough resolutions to make a case for action at the security council level," a diplomatic source told Argus . Iran is enriching uranium to as high as 60pc purity. Near 90pc is considered to be weapons grade, according to the IAEA. By Bachar Halabi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Houthis strike bulk carrier in Gulf of Aden: Update


24/06/14
24/06/14

Houthis strike bulk carrier in Gulf of Aden: Update

Adds ship evacuated, drifting Singapore, 14 June (Argus) — A bulk cargo carrier struck by Yemen-based Houthi militants in the Gulf of Aden has been abandoned and is drifting, according to UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO). The Ukrainian-owned, Polish-operated Verbena was hit three times by missiles, US Central Command (Centcom) said earlier today. The Palau-flagged bulker most recently docked in Malaysia and was headed to Italy carrying wood construction material, according to Centcom. UKMTO said the ship's crew has been evacuated by military authorities and Verbena is now drifting, unlit. UKMTO urged caution in the area. A Houthi unmanned surface vessel struck the Greek-owned and operated bulk carrier Tutor in the Red Sea on 12 June, which resulted in severe flooding and damage to the engine room. Tutor most recently docked in Russia, according to Centcom. It was heading to Jordan's Aqaba port, according to global trade analytics platform Kpler, with its last known cargo being corn. By Tng Yong Li and Ben Winkley Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

S Africa's ANC, DA agree to form government


24/06/14
24/06/14

S Africa's ANC, DA agree to form government

Cape Town, 14 June (Argus) — South Africa's African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA) political parties today agreed to form a government while the first sitting of the new parliament was underway. The agreement, which includes the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), paves the way for ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa to be re-elected president. The parties will assume various positions in government broadly in proportion to their share of seats. The government of national unity (GNU) agreement is the result of two weeks of intense negotiations after the ANC lost its long-held majority in the national election on 29 May. It secured 40.2pc of the vote, and the centre-right, pro-market DA retained its position as the official opposition with 21.8pc. The deal scuppers the possibility of an alliance between the ANC and the two largest left-wing parties, MK (uMkhonto weSizwe) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which credit ratings agency Fitch warned could pose risks to macroeconomic stability . MK party unseated the EFF in the election to come third, winning 14.6pc of the vote. The EFF secured 9.5pc, and the IFP came a distant fifth with 3.85pc. The MK and EFF are populist parties that campaigned on agendas including wide-scale land expropriation without compensation, nationalisation of economic assets — including mines, the central bank and large banks and insurers — halting fiscal consolidation and aggressively increasing social grants. The GNU parties agreed the new administration should focus on rapid economic growth, job creation, infrastructure development and fiscal sustainability. Other priorities include building a professional, merit-based and non-partisan public service, as well as strengthening law enforcement agencies to address crime and corruption. Through a national dialogue that will include civil society, labour and business, parties will seek to develop a national social compact to enable South Africa to meet its developmental goals, they said. The GNU will take decisions in accordance with the established practice of consensus, but where no consensus is possible a principle of sufficient consensus will apply. By Elaine Mills Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Business intelligence reports

Get concise, trustworthy and unbiased analysis of the latest trends and developments in oil and energy markets. These reports are specially created for decision makers who don’t have time to track markets day-by-day, minute-by-minute.

Learn more