In all areas the market remains firm. In the Middle East Gulf, rates for 270,000 tonnes to South Korea/China have risen further to WS 80/82.5 level, and PTT also paid WS 82.5 midweek for a shorter run to Thailand. Going west, Bahri covered 280,000 tonnes to US Gulf at WS 42.5 cape/cape. Petrobras paid WS 49 for Brazil on As Suwayq after this vessel failed at WS 45 for Total who also have New Horizon on subjects at WS 47.5 to UK-Cont basis Suez/Suez routing.
In the West Africa market, a lack of ullage in India and Singapore, combined with bad weather in the Far East have created uncertain itineraries and this has led to a number of replacement cargoes needing to be fixed, mainly for India runs, with west coast India discharge paying between $6.05 and $6.25 million. For China discharge, charterers have been out looking for tonnage 6 weeks ahead in order to ensure coverage and levels have held at between WS 69 and WS 71. A shorter run to Cilacap is understood to have been fixed at WS 75.
The Caribbean to Singapore remains steady at around $7.3 million.
In West Africa, a slow week combined with a healthy tonnage list has seen the market soften significantly with rates to Europe dropping down to WS 70 and a run to the Caribbean is understood to have been covered by Tesoro at WS 70 with US Gulf option at WS 67.5.
In the Black Sea rates have continued to weaken and Chevtex in particular have been very active. After fixing to Korea at $4.1 million on Borderia, and covering off 27 July with Triathlon basis 135,000 tonnes cargo at WS 85 to Europe, they are now reported to have taken three more ships for early August loading, all understood to be at WS 80 level, also for Europe discharge.
In the Mediterranean, minimal delays and a healthy supply of early tonnage have enabled charterers to maintain the pressure on owners. The start of the week saw ENI cover a Tunisia/Genoa trip at WS 71.25, with Black Sea/Med trips being fixed at WS 75. Thereafter rates have recovered modestly, Mediterranean as WS 77.5 from Ceyhan has been repeated three times with a report of WS 80 being agreed from Ceyhan on Neverland Angel, but no further details to hand yet. Short trips from Algeria to west Mediterranean have now gone at both WS 85 and WS 87.5.
In the Baltic, rates held early in the week at WS 75 before sheer volume of activity for both crude and fuel lead to a significantly reduced tonnage list, enabling owners to push rates up to WS 85.
The North Sea has also benefited. Rates for 80,000 tonnes started the week at WS 92.5 but have now regained some lost ground to settle at around WS 102.5.
In the Caribbean, the market for 70,000 tonnes going up coast continued to soften at the start of week as charterers took out the plentiful prompt tonnage at around WS 102.5/105. However with the early tonnage gone there is a firmer sentiment and the market presently sits at around WS 115.
Rates for 55,000 tonnes to US Gulf continue to hover around the WS 140 mark, despite charterers’ efforts to break this level.
A very active week has seen rates for 37,000 tonnes from Continent to USAC gain around 35 points to around WS 205. With the backhaul run for 38,000 tonnes from the US Gulf to UK-Cont also firming to around WS 160 before easing modestly to WS 152.5/155, this has led to a lack of tonnage willing to ballast back to UK-Cont, increasing the pressure on charterers here.
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