An active start to the week in the Middle East Gulf saw the market continue to firm as PTT took two ships both at WS 69 for discharge Thailand and Chevtex also agreed WS 69 for a Singapore run, all basis 270,000 cargo. Subsequently a lull in activity ensued as charterers worked on a more private basis in an effort to dent owners’ bullish ideas and this tactic would appear to have been successful as rates have eased to WS 67 for Singapore and a cargo to Onsan went at WS 60 for 274,000. Going west WS 35 was reported cape/cape on ‘Maersk Hayama’ to Bahri for 280,000 to the US Gulf, but with more oil company relets appearing there is a softer sentiment, with brokers today assessing this route around WS 33/34.
In West Africa, trips for 260,000 to China were covered at both WS 62.5 and WS 64 but with Middle East Gulf rates softening and the West Africa market being predominantly supplied by ballasters from Asia, brokers today view the market at WS 62.5. Significantly a West Africa to India run saw seven offers, thus showing there was no shortage of tonnage. Caribbean to Singapore has remained steady at around $5.7 million while fuel oil from Rotterdam to Singapore was fixed and failed at $5.75 million.
In West Africa, high levels of fixing for first decade May saw rates firm to WS 80 although a Cepsa re-let is understood midweek to have agreed WS 77.5 with Petrogal for a short trip to Portugal. Delta tonnage fixed and failed with ST at WS 82.5 but with a trip to EC Canada going at WS 78.75, the market to Europe is looking settled at WS 80. West Africa has also benefitted from steady enquiry for fuel oil from Continent to Singapore which has been fixed at $3.8 million, and also from Caribbean and the US Gulf for both long and short haul business, thereby taking away potential ballasters to West Africa.
In the Black Sea, the limited activity has been confined to trips going east. Here IOC paid $3.9 million for Novorossisk to WC India while a fuel oil cargo to Singapore went at $3.15 million, but similar enquiries are now seeing charterers faced with levels of $3.5 million. For 135,000 to UK-Cont-Med, rates are assessed at between WS 85 and WS 87.5. From Ceyhan, ENI took Besiktas tonnage at WS 83.5 for Italy discharge.
The Mediterranean has been steady with rates holding at WS 100 for Cross-med runs. Early in the week there was a cheap fixture done at WS 87.5 from Sidi Kerir to Portugal, but this was on handicapped tonnage with limited approvals. Repsol went on subs yesterday on an SKS obo at WS 100 for Sidi Kerir to Spain but the ship has no valid SIRE and is again restricted in what she can fix. Other tonnage for this cargo was holding out for WS 120 level and with a lot of tonnage fixed away this week, there is a firmer sentiment in the Mediterranean.
The market has fallen in both the Baltic and North Sea, with Baltic rates down around 10 points to sit at WS 100/102.5 level while in the North Sea rates for 80,000 tonnes for trips to UKContinent are presently at WS 127.5/130 depending on the voyage, which represents a fall of 10 points from a week ago.
In the Caribbean, a lack of enquiry combined with a replenished tonnage list took its toll with rates for 70,000 going up coast dropping over 30 points to barely WS 105.
It has been a better week for owners here with WS 122.5 having now been done from Continent to US Gulf for 55,000, with owners now aiming to push up further and understood to be talking WS 125 plus.
The market has remained steady for 37,000 tonnes from Continent to USAC where rates have largely held at WS 140, although Statoil are reported to have fixed and failed at WS 145 if ARA load and WS 155 if Mongstad. However with a firmer backhaul rate in the US Gulf, tonnage is focussing more on ballasting down from USAC, than back across to the Continent. Rates from US Gulf have risen from high WS80s at the start of the week to WS 107.5/110, while there has also been sustained enquiry for shorter haul trips in to Central and South America helping to thin the tonnage list.
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