Another positive week for VLCC owners. Middle East Gulf rates firmed with short east fixed at WS 68 for Thailand and Japan done at WS 67.5, each basis 270,000 tonnes. Charterers discounted newbuildings and tonnage ex drydock with these ships fixed around WS 60 for Taiwan/South Korea. A westbound 280,000 tonne cargo went at WS 37.5 basis Suez/Suez routing and a further fixture was said to have been done at WS 36 basis cape/cape.
A similar story in West Africa with WS 75 reported for a shorter run to Cilacap, while China discharge was assessed at around WS 70 for 260,000 tonne cargoes. India trips were fixed just shy of $6.0 million on a 2000 built ship and a 2013 built ship achieving almost the same rate with both basis two to one.
From the Caribbean, Reliance was reported to have confirmed the Abqaiq at an unchanged $6.45 million for west coast India.
Increased tonnage availability for third decade loading saw rates slip to the low WS 90s for Mediterranean discharge and mid WS 90s for UK-Cont discharge (at the end of last week these rates stood at WS 110-115).
In the Mediterranean, Turkish straits delays continued to impact and WS 105 was paid for 140,000 tonnes cross Mediterranean while from Black Sea rates for 140,000 tonnes were steady with WS 115 fixed for prompt loading and WS 110 for later positions.
A steady market around WS 105 for Ceyhan and Black Sea loaders for Mediterranean discharge. The tonnage list in the west Mediterranean thinned as ships ballasted to the Baltic restricting choice.
The status quo was maintained in the Baltic as rates held around WS 100 basis 100,000 tonnes and a similar story in the North Sea with rates largely unchanged at WS 115.
The Caribbean/up coast market continued to firm with both ullage and lightering delays in the US Gulf enabling owners to push rates up to WS 147.5 level for 70,000 tonnes.
Off the Continent, the market for 55,000 tonnes to the US Gulf firmed with WS 120 now said to be on subjects. A stronger Caribbean market with rates at WS 140 for 50,000 tonnes prompted fewer ships to ballast across.
With the ‘arb’ opening up, rates from the Continent to the USAC recovered over the week to WS 107.5 and rumours of WS 115 on subjects (which is up from WS 95 for 37,000 tonnes at the start of the week). It was a less positive tale for the backhaul market with rates for 38,000 tonnes stagnating at WS 60.
For daily tanker market assessments from the Baltic Exchange please visit www.balticexchange.com/market-information/