A very positive tone in all regions. In the Middle East Gulf rates firmed significantly as the week progressed, due to delays in Basrah and weather delays in the East reducing available tonnage. Levels going long jumped around WS 10 to 72.5 basis China, whereas to Singapore the move was almost WS 15 where the Desh Vishal was paid WS 78 by Chevtex. Going west basis 280,000mt rates jumped over WS 12 to 47.5 basis Suez/Suez and to UK/Cont WS 52 was paid by Occidental on the Olympic Luck.
This firmness has improved the West Africa market from WS 61 level. CPC paid Athenian tonnage WS 67.50 basis Taiwan for a vessel open in Fawley and there was talk of Unipec paying WS 72.5 for China discharge.
Off the Continent, Litasco are understood to have covered a fuel oil run from Rotterdam to Singapore at $5.25m on Caesar while the Samco Europe achieved $6.75 million for Hound Point to Korea. Rates in the Caribbean jumped dramatically from $5.7 million to $6.2 million basis Singapore discharge.
In West Africa, with tonnage tight, rates to the US Gulf moved up and Exxon fixed WS 85 on the Patroclus. Petrogal had to pay WS 135 for a cargo to Portugal basis 3 June loading. Further June cargoes are still to be covered and owners are bullish. There is talk of Petrobras firm at WS 120 for Brazil and Repsol not seeing less than WS 145.
The Black Sea market is currently around WS 100 level according to brokers, but little is being reported to Europe. There has been activity to the East with Chevtex paying Cardiff tonnage $3.75 million and Gungen tonnage $3.825 million, both for Korea cargoes.
Excess tonnage maintained the weaker tone and with Trieste up & running the charterers have pushed rates further down with WS 95 fixed basis Ceyhan and WS 90 being agreed by Socar on Sovcomflot tonnage for Black Sea loading.
Maintenance at Primorsk due to last one week caused Baltic rates to drop to WS 70 level, before recovering back around WS 80. The North Sea has felt the ‘knock on’ effect with rates sliding from WS 115/120 to around WS 102.5 at time of writing.
In the Caribbean, the market has seen a modest improvement as the prompt tonnage has been cleared out. Aided by activity for lighterings in the US Gulf, rates have now seemingly settled at WS 110, representing a 7.5/10 point improvement from a week ago.
The market has held steady here throughout the week at around WS 122.5 for Continent to the US Gulf, for 55,000 tonnes.
A see-saw week where rates dropped to low WS 140s, but as tonnage thinned rates climbed back up to WS 160 level.
For 38,000mt from the US Gulf, rates have continued to increase on the back of strong enquiry, much of which has been for central and South America discharge. For UK-Cont discharge, levels are now region WS 120, which is up about 20 points from the start of the week
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