In the Middle East Gulf the market for long east has dropped significantly with rates for 270,000 tonnes now down to WS 56 representing a loss of almost 20 points from a week ago. The start of the week saw WS 69.5 initially paid to China. After a short trip to Thailand was fixed by PTT at WS 62, Exxon subsequently covered a Singapore run at WS 57.5.
Going west rates have likewise eased and Shell reportedly paid 280,000 tonnes at WS 40 Suez/Suez to US Gulf but this was for an east/west options cargo which would thus pay a premium over a straight west run.
In West Africa rates are similarly under considerable strain with the Middle East Gulf falling away so quickly. Although nothing has been reported fixed there this week, owners are now talking rates in the very low WS 60s for China discharge. A crumb of comfort for owners is that the Caribbean/Singapore market is holding at around $7.3 million while Vitol for a replacement cargo off 13 August are understood to have paid $7.85 million.
Off the Continent, Clearlake failed on subjects for 2 August loading at $6.0 million for a Rotterdam/Singapore fuel oil run.
In West Africa, rates had been hovering around WS 75 to Europe, but there is now a softer feel to the market with shorter runs to Iberian Peninsula going at WS 73.5 and subsequently WS 72.5. A Brazil trip is reported fixed at WS 74.5 and Petroineos are understood to have covered an Angola/USG-Caribs voyage at WS 69.5.
In the Black Sea rates have been holding steady at around WS 77.5/80 level for 135,000 tonnes. In the Mediterranean, Repsol took Gungen tonnage at WS 77.5 basis 140,000 tonnes from Sidi Kerir to Spain while a longer Libya/China run was covered by Unipec at $4.1 million. For Ceyhan to USAC, Suncor covered on George S at WS 58.5 basis 135,000 tonnes cargo.
In the Mediterranean and Black Sea, rates have remained steady throughout the week at around WS 105.
In the Baltic, the market has continued to soften further with rates now established at WS 67.5 for 100,000 tonnes quantity. Similarly in the North Sea short haul trade, 80,000 tonnes cargoes are now going at WS 90.
In the Caribbean/up coast trade, owners have slightly against expectation managed to hold the market for 70,000 tonnes at around WS 115, with their cause being aided by a number of private cargoes as charterers start to work their first decade requirements.
With the Caribbean/USA panamax market easing to low WS 130s, owners have focused more on ballasting across, leading to rates for 55,000 tonnes from ARA to US Gulf coming under renewed pressure with WS 130 now being the level seen for this trade, as aframaxes also compete for some cargoes here.
It has been a week of consolidation for owners in the UK-Cont/transatlantic trade with rates holding at WS 165 basis 37,000 tonnes. In the US Gulf, rates have generally been steady at around WS 105 level. There was one deal done at WS 90 but this was for a ship which had to come back across to redeliver. Now Vitol are reported to have paid around WS 110 and on the back of a good amount of demand for local short haul destinations, owners are endeavouring to push the market back up to around WS 120.
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