In the Middle East Gulf the market for long east has continued to weaken with rates for 270,000 tonnes initially down to WS 50, before S-Oil took two ships to Korea for 274,000 tonnes at WS 43 and WS 43.5 respectively. Early in the week a short run to Singapore was covered at WS 57.5, but with the lack of enquiry rates are now being assessed at below WS 50. Going west rates have likewise eased and Valero reportedly paid 280,000 tonnes at WS 29 Suez/Suez to US Gulf.
In West Africa, rates have fallen away with a West Africa to WC India going at $4.5 million, representing a drop of $750,000 from a week ago. A trip to China was covered in the very low WS 50s representing a drop of around 8 WS points, otherwise requirements here have been covered under contract.
The weakness in the market has filtered through to Caribs-US Gulf market, with a forward cargo off 10 September being covered at $6.5 million basis US Gulf loading.
In West Africa, rates held steady at WS 72.5 for Europe, although a couple of short runs to Spain are now understood to have been fixed at WS 70.
In the Black Sea, Chevtex took Archangel at WS 70 to Europe, for 135,000 tonnes. For a long voyage to Japan, Chevtex paid $3.9 million.
In the Mediterranean, Petrogal had 7/8 offers for a Sidi Kerir/Portugal trip and covered 130,000 tonnes at WS 62.5 although this was on a ship coming from drydock. Socar subsequently took Centrofin tonnage at WS 60 from Ceyhan to UK-Cont-Med. A less attractive voyage to Morocco went earlier at WS 77.5 on Delta tonnage, basis 133,000 tonnes cargo.
In the Mediterranean and Black Sea, rates have remained steady throughout the week at around WS 105 with Libya loadings paying a premium of between 5/10 points.
The Baltic market seems to have settled at WS 67.5 for 100,000 tonnes quantity. Similarly in the North Sea short haul trade, 80,000 tonne cargoes are still going around WS 90.
In the Caribbean/up coast trade for 70,000 tonnes rates have eased around 7.5 points to sit now at WS 107.5.
With the Caribbean/USA panamax market easing further to low WS 120s and a couple of ships off the Continent failing, rates for 55,000 tonnes from ARA to US Gulf have come under renewed downward pressure with levels now in low/mid WS 120s.
It has been a disappointing week for owners with the market losing around 30 WS points with last done here being Valero taking Scorpio tonnage for 37,000 tonnes at WS 130 for a Pembroke/USAC run. With plenty of available tonnage brokers feel the market could soften further.
In the US Gulf, an active week has seen rates for 38,000 tonnes going to UK-Cont hold steady at between WS 97.5/100 level.
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