A lack of enquiry in the Middle East Gulf has seen rates come under downward pressure. With charterers receiving good response to their enquiries, the market for 270,000 tonnes going long East has dropped from low WS 80S to WS 75 and there was even a WS 72.5 agreed for China, but this was on a ship coming off storage and with no SIRE. Going west, Irving are reported to have paid WS 47.5 Suez/Suez on a replacement cargo for 280,000 tonnes to east coast Canada.
In West Africa, rates have moved in step with the softer market in the Middle East Gulf with WS 74 to China being agreed by Unipec for Poros. Whereas last week trips to west coast India were going in the low $6 millions, Reliance took BW Peony at $5.25 million while a longer voyage to the east coast has now been covered at $5.9 million, albeit on 1998 built tonnage.
The Caribbean to China has reportedly been fixed at $8.7 million while east coast Mexico to South Korea is understood to have gone at $8.2 million.
In West Africa, after the modest firming at the end of last week, a healthy supply of tonnage in the natural fixing window has seen the market slip back to around WS 75 for Europe discharge while Irving covered a Canaport run at WS 74 on Brightway.
In the Black Sea rates have moved sideways. Chevtex reportedly fixed off 6 August at WS 80 and covered a replacement off 31 July at WS 82.5 on Besiktas tonnage. In the Mediterranean, Petrogal paid WS 77.5 for 135,000 tonnes from Ceyhan to Portugal while Repsol took Brazos from Sidi Kerir to Spain at WS 77.5 basis 140,000 cargo quantity. Litasco are understood to have paid $3.3 million for fuel oil on a STS Mediterranean/Singapore run.
In the Mediterranean rates have recovered as the tonnage list has thinned out significantly, aided by replacement cargoes, one charterer struggling to find a suitable ship for CPC loading and owners also turning to other markets to find coverage and avoid the poor returns that were prevalent in the Mediterranean. Today the market sits around WS 105/107.5 depending on the voyage, which represents a gain over the week of around 20 points. The Black Sea has now been covered at WS 107.5.
In the Baltic, a slow start to the week, combined with less crude cargoes from Ust Luga has seen rates drop around 7.5 points to sit now at WS 75. The influence of the weaker Baltic market has filtered through to the North Sea where rates for 80,000 tonnes to UK-Cont have eased back to low WS 90s.
In the Caribbean, steady activity for 70,000 tonnes going up coast has enabled owners to maintain the market at WS 115, and with uncertainty on berthing schedules there is now a report of Vitol paying WS 120 for Covenas/US Gulf on Afra Hawthorn.
Rates for 55,000 tonnes to US Gulf, have eased modestly with WS 135 being the last seen for this trade.
Although there was an active start to the week for 37,000 tonnes cargoes in the UK-Cont/Transatlantic trade, plentiful supply of tonnage has seen rates slide around 35 points to WS 165. It is a similar story in the US Gulf, where rates on the backhaul trade have eased significantly from WS 140 at the start of the week down to WS 107.5 which is now reported fixed by Valero on Unique Explorer.
For daily tanker market assessments from the Baltic Exchange please visit www.balticexchange.com/market-information/