In all areas the market has been firm. In the Middle East Gulf a Japanese replacement cargo was the catalyst for the strengthening market with WS 67 paid for Japan discharge. PTT covered at WS 68.5 and subsequently WS 70 has been paid for both long and shorter east discharge options on Kalymnos, with Idemitsu now reportedly on subjects at WS 72.5 to Japan, all basis 270,000 tonnes cargo. For 280,000 tonnes going to UK-Cont, Total are understood to have covered at WS 49.5 basis Suez/Suez routing.
In West Africa, rates for 260,000 tonnes have firmed in line with the Middle East Gulf and rates to China which started the week at WS 62.5 are now at WS 72.5 which was repeated on numerous occasions as charterers were forced to look almost five weeks ahead to find suitable tonnage. A stronger suezmax market also saw stems here being combined. A West Africa to Sikka run went at $5.7 million whereas last week this went at $4.5 million.
In the North Sea, Hound Point to Korea is understood to have been fixed at around $7.65 million while a fuel oil run from Rotterdam to Singapore reportedly went at $6.25 million. Caribbean to Singapore has been covered at $ 7.3 million.
In West Africa, rates to Europe for 130,000 tonnes started the week at WS 80. Thereafter rates have been on a steady climb with WS 100 now having been paid as a combination of ullage delays in the East for suezmaxes with fuel oil onboard, together with ships in the Atlantic still awaiting discharge orders for unsold cargoes, have significantly reduced the available ballasters back for West Africa loading.
In the Mediterranean and Black Sea, rates have benefited from the stronger West Africa market. The start of the week saw Chevtex taking two suezmaxes from Black Sea at WS 90 and WS 100 respectively. OMV took Besiktas tonnage at WS 125 for 135,000 tonnes from Sidi Kerir to Trieste – the market is showing a firmer sentiment. A replacement cargo fixed and failed from Black Sea at WS 120 for 140,000 cargo size.
In the Mediterranean, rates have been steady with levels holding in the mid WS 130 from both East Med and Black Sea with Libya cargoes paying around 10/15 points premium.
In the Baltic, rates have again been volatile. The start of the week saw rates drop almost 20 points to WS 105 before reviving as these lower rates enticed more charterers to the market. Subsequently a thinned tonnage list combined with some prompt requirements saw the Baltic rebound to WS 130 whilst the 80,000 tonne cross North Sea market moved in tandem gaining around 35 points to WS 165.
In the Caribbean, the market for 70,000 tonnes going up coast has benefited from bad weather in US Gulf, leading to limited tonnage with a safe itinerary and the last seen done here was WS 170, representing a 25 point gain from the start of the week.
The market for 55,000 tonnes from Continent to the US Gulf has firmed here also with a Baltic/Transatlantic cargo being fixed at WS 130 and subsequently owners have been aiming for WS 135 as ballasters from USA have looked to stay local on the back of a firmer up coast market affected by weather delays.
Rates for 37,000 tonnes from Continent to USAC firmed in the first half of the week with WS 192.5 being the high for the week before easing back to WS 180 while levels for 38,000 tonnes from the US Gulf to UK-Cont were in the low/mid WS 120s at the start of the week before easing around five points, but owners have now regained lost ground to again sit at WS 125 level.
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