Delays in the East, an active Atlantic market and loading problems in Nigeria resulted in VLCC owners with tonnage the Middle East Gulf seeing firmer levels. Rates rose almost 17 points to WS 80 for 270,000 tonnes for long east and shorter runs to Thailand were reported covered at WS 82. A rumour circulated of WS 85 agreed for the East, but details were elusive. Rates rose almost 10 Worldscale points for 280,000 tonne cargoes to the US with Koch reported fixing at WS 47.5 from Basrah via cape/cape.
Nigeria/China rates climbed to WS 68.5-70 for China discharge and Statoil was rumoured fixing at WS 75.
Off the Continent owners were said now talking $6.00 million to move fuel oil from Rotterdam to Singapore bringing them in-line with earnings elsewhere. Sources said $5.25 million was done. Crude from Hound Point to South Korea was understood fixed at $7.25 million.
The Caribbean/ east trade remained strong with Essar paying $6.00 million for west coast India discharge while Glasford reportedly took three ships earlier in the week for Singapore-China discharge at between $6.4 and $6.64 million for Singapore and with $7.7 and $7.84 million agreed for Ningbo discharge.
Last week’s spike in rates in West Africa was short-lived, with an end October cargo receiving around 10 offers. Consequently, the market fell steadily with Total reportedly taking SKS tonnage for Europe discharge at WS 72.5 with the rates at the start of the week in the low WS 90s.
A similar story in the Black Sea with a quiet week and the market losing around 14 points, now at WS 75 for a 140,000 tonne cargo.
Another difficult week for owners in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, where rates have generally been flat around WS 67.5/70. However, much of the prompt tonnage has been absorbed which could give owners some encouragement. In addition a significantly improved Baltic market has the potential to entice tonnage in the west Mediterranean to ballast north where rates for 100,000 tonnes have firmed to WS 70 from WS 57.5 at the start of the week.
The improvement in the Baltic has filtered through to the cross North Sea market which has gained around 7.5 points to WS 90.
Aframaxes in the Caribbean/up coast trade have held steady throughout the week at WS 122.5.
A firmer market in the Caribbean saw less tonnage ballasting across and rates have been largely unchanged at WS 87.5/90 for 55,000 tonnes from ARA to the US Gulf.
It has been an uneventful week on the Continent where rates for 37,000 tonnes to USAC have held steady at WS 100 level. In contrast the 38,000 tonnes backhaul route from US Gulf to UK-Continent has seen only weak demand and rates have dropped 30 points to around WS 75.
For daily tanker market assessments from the Baltic Exchange please visit www.balticexchange.com/market-information/