It has been a week of consolidation in the Middle East Gulf with rates for 270,000 tonnes to China edging up to WS 48.5 and Singapore being covered at WS 46 albeit on tonnage ex drydock. Going west, rates have continued to nudge upwards with Bahri covering a straight US Gulf discharge at WS 26 cape/cape while voyages with wide options of east and west discharge have tended to pay one to two points premium for the respective discharge areas.
Rates for West Africa to China have risen to WS 47.5, up from WS 44 at the end of last week, while a shorter trip to Indonesia is said to have gone at WS 52.5.
There has been little enquiry from the North Sea, though Vitol are understood to have taken Maran Thaleia for a Hound Point / Korea run at a largely unchanged $5.85 million.
In West Africa, rates to Europe after flirting with WS 60 level have settled back at WS 57.5 as a healthy tonnage list and lack of enquiry elsewhere prevented owners from pushing the market up any further.
It has been a similarly slow week in the Black Sea with rates largely unchanged at WS62.5. From the Mediterranean, Petrogal are reported to have taken Delta tonnage for a Sidi Kerir/Portugal run at WS 57.5 basis 130,000 tonnes cargo.
The Mediterranean has been stable with Ceyhan and also Black Sea loaders achieving rates of WS 75 for Mediterranean discharge while longer voyages from Sidi Kerir to Spain are reported to have been covered at WS 70. Unipec managed to fix at WS 65 for a straight Sidi/UK-Cont on NS Champion.
Despite a heavy program in the Baltic, there was little initial change with rates holding around WS 67.5/70, as a number of ships that were fixed only went short, putting them quickly back in fixing position. However rates have now subsequently eased with Trafigura taking Olib from Ust Luga at WS 62.5.
The 80,000 tonnes cross North Sea market been steady throughout the week at WS 95.
In the Caribbean/up coast trade,an active start to the week saw the market firm marginally to around WS 102.5, as charterers focussed on tonnage with a firm position, thus those owners with reliable itineraries benefitted.
With a continued weak panamax market in the Caribbean, there is no shortage of ballasters to the Continent where levels remain stagnant in low to mid WS 80s for 55,000 tonnes from ARA to the US Gulf.
After starting the week at WS 125, the market for 37,000 tonnes from Continent to USAC edged down modestly to settle at WS 120 while the backhaul trade for 38,000 tonnes has shown volatility, starting the week around WS 80. There was a high reported of WS 95 on Port Union to Valero while Trafigura around the same time reportedly covered at WS 82.5 on Endeavour.
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