30 November 2018: Worldscale is preparing to release its new flat rates for 2019. Just like last year, and for every year since the current Worldscale system was established some 50 years ago, the bunker prices are the biggest factor influencing the changes in flat rates from 2018 to 2019. Based on the increase in average fuel prices we expect flat rates to increase by 15-20%, a similar change to last year. The 2018/2019 change-over may be the last time that Worldscale uses the average price of 3.5% sulphur HFO bunkers in their calculation of flat rates. For 2020, Worldscale may want to base its freight calculations on the fuel that the vast majority of tankers will be using that year, i.e. low sulphur IMO 2020 compliant fuel. However, if it decides to go that route, Worldscale will face a problem: that fuel (and the associated pricing data) will probably not be widely available until the second half of next year. How will the Worldscale Association deal with this uncertainty?
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