In the Middle East Gulf, the market softened further at the start of the week with rates for Singapore dipping down to around WS 63 and long east finding a new level of around WS 60/61 for 270,000 tonnes cargo. Deals have been done starting with a ‘5’ but this has tended to be for ‘handicapped tonnage’ which is either ex drydock or has no valid sire. Going west, 280,000 tonnes to the US Gulf is understood to have gone at WS 37 cape/cape.
In West Africa, in tandem with the Middle East Gulf there has been further weakening here with levels falling back to WS 62.5 for China discharge. Shorter trips to India have helped at least support the market and $5.1m was paid to Kochi, while going west, Total took Athenian tonnage at WS 80 with a 2.5 WS premium if discharge France.
In the North Sea, ST are reported to have covered a Hound Point/Korea run at $7.0m while a fuel oil cargo from Rotterdam to Singapore was fixed at $6.1 million, but this deal apparently failed. Caribbean remains the strongest area, even though rates have dipped from $7.5 Million for Singapore. ‘Maran Cleo’ is understood to have agreed a level of about $7.1 million though there is also speculation the rate could be closer to $7.4 million
In West Africa, rates to Europe for 130,000 tonnes initially dropped down to WS 87.5 before staging a small recovery with a high of WS 92.5 paid. Total were very active and confirmed 4 suezmaxes at between WS 89/90 in addition to the Athenian VLCC. Going transatlantic, Lemos tonnage was reported at WS 85 for USAC discharge. Subsequently, however, WS 85 was agreed by ENI to UK-Cont-Med, albeit for a larger stem of 135,000 tonnes.
In the Black Sea, it has again been a slow but steady week with the market holding at around WS 100. In the Mediterranean at the start of the week, cross Med was covered at WS 115, but midweek a short Algeria/Fos run went at WS 97.5 with the market now looking more settled at WS 100 level for cross-Med.
The start of the week, after a couple of deals failed, saw levels drop around 20 WS points to WS 120 – thereafter rates have held steady and with delays and uncertainty regarding prospects for tonnage in Trieste, brokers feel there is potential for rates to improve modestly.
In the Baltic, rates have been volatile. The start of the week saw the market firm to between WS 100 and WS 105 before Litasco managed to fix three ships all at WS 97.5 and thereafter WS 105 was again agreed. Cross North Sea rates for 80,000 tonnes firmed throughout the week to around WS 137.5 before a modest correction down to WS 132.5.
In the Caribbean, the market for 70,000 tonnes going up coast has been on the up throughout the week with levels today at WS 147.5 which represents a gain of 30 points.
The market for 55,000 tonnes from Continent to the US Gulf has again held steady. A Baltic/Transatlantic went at WS 130 at the start of the week and owners are understood to be pushing to improve on this level now.
It has again been a volatile week for owners here with rates for 37,000 tonnes from Continent to USAC initially easing to WS 150 before regaining lost ground to WS 160, aided by healthy levels of enquiry for short haul trips from the Baltic which have helped thin out tonnage here. We now understand that WS 157.5 is on subs with a slightly weaker sentiment again prevailing.
Rates for 38,000 tonnes from the US Gulf have increased steadily with WS 120 now reported on subjects here, up from WS 100 at the start of the week.
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