It was a rough week for VLCCs.

According to Tankers International fixtures data, most of the week’s fixtures were estimated to be loss-making — and three were done under $10,000 per day.

The pool operator said the 303,000-dwt Lita (built 2019) was fixed on subs for $5,000 per day on Tuesday to Sasol for a voyage from the Middle East Gulf to South Africa for loading in early July.

That was followed by two cheap fixtures on Thursday.

It noted that the 310,000-dwt Nave Synergy (built 2010) was fixed to PTT for a voyage from the Middle East Gulf to Thailand at $4,300 per day and the 300,000-dwt Universal Leader (built 2019) was fixed to Bharat Petroleum Corp at $6,900 per day for a voyage from the Middle East Gulf to the west coast of India.

Both voyages are on subs and both are expected to load in early July.

Tankers International said the Nave Synergy is linked to Navios Maritime, while the Universal Leader is an HMM vessel.

In its daily report, Clarksons VLCC fleet weighted average ended the week at $34,100 per day, a 4% gain from Thursday but a nearly 42% drop from a month ago, when rates hit $58,500 per day.

The Middle East Gulf to China route remains at the lowest level among the three assessed by the broking giant, with an eco-designed vessel earning $29,600 per day on that route.

The same ship on a US Gulf to China voyage was estimated to earn $38,400 per day, while a ship sailing from West Africa to China would earn $37,300 per day.

During the week, Fearnleys noted a slowdown in cargoes, with fewer than 140 recorded in June.

“But given the veil of secrecy currently sitting over the market, cargo counting can become a little arbitrary,” it said.

“Still, it is certainly a lighter month, but this is not abnormal, as summer cargo counts are often 10+ cargoes below the cold, dark, Northern winter.”

The broker also noted fewer offers for the cargoes being marketed, with one Chinese charterer fielding just four offers for early July dates versus 10 or more on cargoes last week.