In the Middle East Gulf this week it has been a two-tier market with ‘handicapped ships’ being picked off in the low WS 50s. S-Oil took the Genmar Hercules at WS 50.5 basis 280,000 tonnes for Onsan discharge, but this ship has no sire or approvals after change of management. Similarly tonnage ex dry dock has been covered at WS 52.5 by Korean charterers for 270,000 tonnes cargo. Where charters tend to be more circumspect, Thai Oil paid WS 61 for a short trip to Thailand while Total covered a run to Japan at WS 61.5, although Bahri are understood to have fixed at WS 57.5 for Okinawa discharge, all basis 270,000 tonnes cargo quantity. For US Gulf discharge, rates for 280,000 tonnes have held steady at around WS 34/35 level basis cape/cape.
In West Africa, Unipec have been busy reportedly taking Chryssi at WS 58.5 for 260,000 tonnes to China and in addition are understood to have covered a number of liftings under coa. Indian charterers have also been to the fore fixing WC India discharge at $5 million and EC India at $5.3m equating to around WS 62.5. In the Mediterranean, Bahri covered a short Sidi Kerir/Rotterdam run at WS 75 for 280,000 tonnes. Caribbean to Singapore has been steady at around $5.7 million.
In West Africa, it has been a slower week. Levels were initially holding at WS 80 for Europe discharge, but there is weaker sentiment in the market, borne out by Petrobras who are understood to have covered a short run to Brazil at WS 79 while US Gulf discharge has reportedly been fixed at WS 75. With a long weekend approaching, charterers have been endeavouring to tempt owners at WS 75 as they start to work third decade position.
In the Black Sea, Chevtex took Besiktas tonnage for 135,000 tonnes to Europe at WS 81.25, while Gazprom covered on SKS tonnage at WS 80 for 140,000 tonnes. There remains outstanding enquiry for fuel oil going east but disagreement as to where the market lies here.
From the Mediterranean, Petrogal are understood to have agreed WS 74.5 for 135,000 tonnes from Ceyhan to Portugal.
The Mediterranean has seen little change with rates holding steady at WS 102.5/105 level while Libya cargoes pay a premium of around 20 points. Delays and uncertainty regarding itineraries for tonnage discharging in Trieste have helped maintain the status quo here. In the Black Sea levels have similarly been holding at between WS 105 and WS 110.
It has been an uneventful week in both the Baltic and North Sea, with Baltic rates being maintained at around WS 87.5 while in the North Sea rates for 80,000 tonnes for trips to UK-Cont have held at WS 120.
In the Caribbean, the slide has been halted and the market has settled at WS 100 although there was a firmer WS 102.5 done earlier in the week.
It has been a steady week with levels holding at around WS 122.5 having now been done from Continent to US Gulf for 55,000 tonnes, although there is potential for more tonnage to ballast across with Caribbean rates having eased below WS 130 for 50,000 tonnes for up coast discharge.
A slow week has seen rates gradually ease from a high of WS 157.5 for 37,000 tonnes from Continent to USAC to WS 155 and there is now a report of possibly WS 150 having been agreed here. Rates for 38,000 tonnes from the US Gulf have been steady throughout the week at WS 100, although the main activity here has again tended to see destinations of Central and South America absorbing the lion’s share of the enquiry.
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