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Friday, January 19, 2018

LARGE AND VARIED CHANGES IN WORLDSCALE FLAT RATES FOR 2001

The flat rates for long voyages will go up substantially in the 2001 Worldscale Flat rates compared with those for 2000. However, some short voyages will hardly show any changes.

The reason for this is a substantial increase in the world-wide average price for bunker fuel used in the 2001 Worldscale Schedule, which is partly offset by a (marked) decrease in some port expenses in countries where local currencies have weakened against the US Dollar. The shorter the voyage, the greater the impact of the exchange rate effect; the longer the voyage, the greater the effect of the bunker price increase.  In some ports, the tariffs are in US Dollars, and thus there will be no such counterbalancing effect.

The worldwide average price for bunker fuel (380 cst) in the period 1 October 1999 to 30 September 2000 is USD 149.75, and this is the assumption upon which the 2001 WS Flat rates are based, compared with USD 86.50 for the 2000 Schedule. The current bunker prices are considerably higher, and tanker owners would be well advised to consider using bunker price adjustment clauses in charter parties, or hedging in the forward markets, if they wish to reduce their exposure to the fluctuations of the bunker market. However, this carries a cost and of course also the risk that the bunker market can turn in a positive direction. For instance, the Ras Tanura to Yokohama Flat rate will go up by 18.1%, whereas the Sullom Voe to Rotterdam Flat rate will be increased by 2.9%.  Ras Tanura to Rotterdam via Cape will go up by 19.4%, Ras Tanura to Loop via Cape by 20.1%.

The Suez Canal fixed differential will go down as a result of the weakening of the Special Drawing Rights in relation to the US Dollar.

The Worldscale Schedule for 2001 will be issued mid-December and will take effect on 1 January 2001. A notice indicating some of the changes will be issued mid-November.