In all areas the market has been firm. In the Middle East Gulf, an active week for 3rd decade July loading saw rates for 270,000 tonnes to South Korea/China initially rise to between WS 65/68, prior to Tonen taking Tateyama off early August at WS 72.5 for Japan discharge, up around 10 points here from a week ago. Short east to Thailand-Singapore has been covered at around WS 69/70. Going west 280,000 tonnes to US Gulf has been fixed at both WS 34 and WS 36 cape/cape while Total subsequently agreed WS 38 on Suez/Suez basis with UK-Cont option at WS 39.
In West Africa, the market for 260,000 tonnes has firmed in line with the Middle East Gulf and rates to China which started the week at close to WS 65 are now looking settled at WS 70 with Chinese charterers taking 3 ships all at this level.
In the North Sea, BP reportedly took Mazyzonah for a fuel oil run from Rotterdam to Singapore at $6.2 million. The Caribbean to Singapore has been covered at a steady $7.3 million by Glasford on Maersk Hayama.
In West Africa, healthy demand for 3rd decade loading saw rates to Europe for 130,000 tonnes nudge back up to WS 95, while Shell paid WS 97 for a replacement cargo on Petalidi on 19 July.
In the Black Sea rates initially edged up modestly at the start of the week before easing back again. Chevtex took Aegean Dignity for 135,000 tonnes at WS 95, Gazprom paid WS 97.5 for Yasa Polaris and Transway subsequently took Bermuda Spirit at WS 99.5, both for 140,000 tonnes cargo, before Chevtex reportedly covered on Afroditi at a softer WS 92.5 basis 135,000 tonnes. There has also been long haul business from the Mediterranean with Unipec covering a Sidi Kerir/east run at $4 million, while an Algeria/Indonesia run went at $4.85 million. Clearlake fixed a 130,000 tonne fuel oil cargo from Cyprus to US Gulf at WS 70.
In the Mediterranean rates have crashed with a number of vessels due to load Kirkuk crude being cancelled. Consequently an abundance of tonnage has seen charterers inundated with offers for cargoes. Today the market for 80,000 tonnes from Ceyhan is at barely WS 80 while a Novorossisk cargo, for which they had 12 offers, was covered by ST at WS 75. Owners’ cause is not being helped by Trieste again operating smoothly without undue delays and a lack of Azeri crude due to maintenance at the field.
In the Baltic, rates have continued to struggle as maintenance at both Primorsk and Ust Luga lead to a dearth of enquiry and consequently a much longer tonnage list. Rates here have now dropped down to WS 77.5.
The knock-on effect has been felt in the North Sea with rates for 80,000 tonnes languishing now at around WS 95 level.
In the Caribbean, the market for 70,000 tonnes going up coast has dropped significantly from WS 152.5 at the start of the week to WS 110 as a healthy supply of early tonnage sees charterers in the driving seat, receiving good response on their requirements.
With the 50,000 tonne Caribs/up coast market softening too close to WS 150 , more owners are looking at ballasting to the Continent where rates for 55,000 tonnes to US Gulf for end month loading have eased to around WS 140, although brokers feel for early positions around mid /20th July, charterers may have to pay more.
Rates for 37,000 tonnes from Continent to USAC have remained steady throughout the week at WS 170 while in the US Gulf rates for 38,000 tonnes to UK-Cont have risen from 105 level at the start of the week to between WS 115/ 120 level. This has come about on the back of plentiful demand for local short haul trips to the Caribbean, Central and South America leading to a very tight tonnage list.
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