In the Middle East Gulf rates have been in gentle decline as I.P. week has kicked in, with less of the recent volatility. For 270,000 tonnes for long east levels appear settled at WS 60, with Singapore paying around WS 62.5. Going west, Exxon are reported to have taken a Koch re-let for US Gulf discharge at WS 36 basis 280,000 tonnes, while Bahri took Hanjin Ras Tanura to the US Gulf at WS 33 cape/cape, with Red Sea discharge option at WS 62.5.
Rates for 260,000 West Africa to China have been stable and CPC are reported to have taken on subjects the ‘Cosbright Lake’ at WS 60 for Taiwan discharge. Otherwise here it has been largely Chinese charterers covering under COA. Off the Continent the Al Salmi failed subjects for fuel from Rotterdam to Singapore at a reported rate of $6.35 million and Caribbean/Singapore runs are holding at around $7.4 million.
Rates from West Africa continue to soften. After Total and Petrogal both covered at WS 85, Cepsa are understood to have agreed WS 81.5 for a short trip to Spain, and there is now a report of WS 77.5 having been agreed for UK-Cont discharge by Petroineos on the Petalidi while Exxon are understood to have taken ‘DHT Trader’ on subs at WS 72.5 for US Gulf discharge.
The Black Sea has also suffered, despite the Turkish straits delays with ENI fixing Genmar Spartiate at WS 90. Chevtex are also reported to have paid WS 90, which is 10 points down from last week. Levels here remain under downward pressure.
In the Mediterranean, rates have crashed as charterers were inundated with offers including suezmaxes on part cargoes. Whereas a week ago, the market was in the WS 190s, owners are now willing levels around WS 122.5 and Black Sea is understood to have been covered at WS 115.
With tonnage building in the Baltic, rates have slipped, gradually easing from WS 100 down to WS 90-92.5 level. The 80,000 tonne cross North Sea market still holds steady at around WS 105.
Undoubtedly the star performer for aframax owners has been the Caribbean market where, for 70,000 tonnes going up coast, levels have risen to WS 165/167.5 as healthy enquiry and a thin tonnage list, brought about by bad weather and ullage problems, have left owners firmly in control. The rise here is even tempting tonnage to ballast from the Mediterranean to try to make the most of the strong market here.
The market from Continent to the US Gulf has been under pressure with re-let tonnage available and sparse enquiry levels have dropped around 7.5 WS points to WS 140 basis 55,000 tonnes as owners just look to keep their tonnage moving.
Rates for 37,000 tonnes from Continent/USAC fluctuated with a drop of around 10 points early in the week to around WS 100, although rates have now edged back up very modestly to around WS 105. The 38,000 tonne backhaul route from US Gulf to UK-Cont spluttered back in to life and rates rose steadily to almost WS 70 before a build-up of tonnage for 15/20 February window saw levels slip back to around WS 62.5, although this is still a good 10 points better than this time last week.
For daily tanker market assessments from the Baltic Exchange please visit www.balticexchange.com/market-information/