The Middle East Gulf market going east has continued to weaken as WS 41 was fixed for China & Taiwan and Philippines discharge going at WS 40 which is about four points lower than last week. Short east to Singapore-Thailand has been covered at between WS 39.5 and WS 41, while runs for 280,000 tonnes to the US Gulf have been fixed at WS 23.5/24 level basis cape/cape.
In West Africa, rates have similarly eased with Reliance fixing to WC India at $3.9 million and HPCL covered EC India discharge at $4.2 million. Maran tonnage is reported to have gone to Unipec for China discharge at WS 52.5.
Off the Continent, Clearlake are understood to have paid $5.1 million for a Rotterdam/Singapore fuel oil run, while in the Caribbean Mercuria are said to have paid $6.05 million for Singapore discharge.
The rates from West Africa were steady early in the week at WS 72.5 for Europe. However as more ballasters became available due to a softer Middle East Gulf market, levels subsequently weakened. ENI, after receiving around six offers fixed Delta tonnage at W 67.5.
In the Black Sea, Chevron paid both WS 67.5 and WS 70 for runs to Europe basis 135,000 tonnes, while they covered a cargo for Jamnagar at $2.6 million. Transway for a very prompt replacement had to pay WS 77.5 on 140,000 tonnes.
In the Mediterranean, Repsol agreed WS 67.5 basis 130,000 tonnes for a short run Algeria to Spain while Socar covered 135,000 tonnes from Ceyhan to Portugal at WS 62.5.
Ceyhan and Black Sea rates initially weakened modestly, but thereafter have held steady at WS 102.5.
Healthy levels of enquiry in the Baltic reduced tonnage availability which pushed the market up from WS 67.5 to sit now at close to WS 77.5 for 100,000 tonnes. The knock on effect of this was improvement in the North Sea short haul trade, as rates for 80,000 tonne cargoes firmed to high WS 90s, representing a gain of almost 7.5 WS points from a week ago.
The Caribbean/up coast market for 70,000 tonnes dropped around 25 WS points to now sit at WS 82.5 with owners’ cause here not being helped by suezmaxes combining aframax stems and going up coast.
With the Caribbean/USA panamax market still weak at WS 115 level for 50,000 tonnes, this has led to more tonnage ballasting away which is putting the rates for ARA to the US Gulf under pressure, which for 55,000 tonnes is currently at a similar level.
The start of the week saw rates for 37,000 tonnes from Continent to USAC continue to fall, with a low of WS 110 being agreed before a surge of activity led to around 15 ships going on subjects mid-week. Owners have now been able to regain lost ground with rates back in the low WS 120s.
In the US Gulf, an active week with healthy levels of enquiry also to central and South America has meant owners have at least been able to maintain levels at between W95/100 for UK-Cont discharge.
For daily tanker market assessments from the Baltic Exchange please visit www.balticexchange.com/market-information/