It has been a quieter week in the Middle East Gulf, November requirements seem to be covered and charterers were seeing multiple offers which has eased rates. Long east for 270,000 tonnes at the start of the week was in the high WS 60s, but S-Oil subsequently managed to cover 280,000 tonnes from Ras Tanura to Onsan at WS 58, while FPCC are understood to have taken Manah at WS 59.75 for 270,000 tonnes to Taiwan. Going west, 280,000 tonnes has held at WS 36 basis cape/cape, but rates remain under pressure here.
It has been a similar story of softening in West Africa. PTT paid WS 70 for a run to Thailand, while China discharge has now nudged below WS 70.
Off the Continent, rates for fuel oil from Rotterdam to Singapore have varied from $5.90 million to $6.375 million paid by Shell for Olympic Trust, with last seen here being Al Kout to Total at $6.2 million. Crude oil has been fixed at $8.35 million for Hound Point to Korea.
Rates in the Caribbean have eased with west coast India discharge being covered at $5.95 million while the US Gulf to Singapore is said to have been fixed at around $6.95 million.
A significant overhang of end November tonnage has seen rates continue to slide with levels at barely WS 80 for Europe, down 10 points from the start of the week, while a short trip to South Africa has been covered at WS 85.
In the Black Sea, Turkish straits delays have helped support the market with rates hovering around the WS 100 level for 135,000 tonnes, though with the November program covered and West Africa easing, the school of thought is that Black Sea rates could come under renewed downward pressure.
The market has continued to firm here with Socar reportedly taking Arcadia tonnage at WS 112.5 from Ceyhan, and subsequently ENI paid WS 115 from Sidi Kerir, as delays in both Trieste and the Turkish straits put pressure on rates.
Baltic rates basis 100,000 tonnes size firmed from WS 100 to WS 105 with a rumour, so far unsubstantiated, of even WS 107.5 being on subjects. These firmer levels have affected the 80,000 tonnes cross North Sea trade, with rates here up 10 points to WS 125.
Continued ullage delays and uncertain positions in the US Gulf have led to further firming in the Caribbean/up coast market with rates gaining around 22.5 points to WS 172.5 for 70,000 tonnes.
Off the Continent, the market for 55,000 tonnes to the US Gulf has firmed further, as WS 125 now said to be on subjects with owners continuing to feel the benefit of the stronger panamax Caribbean market where rates sit now at around WS 155 basis 50,000 tonnes, leading to tonnage preferring to stay local.
It has been a positive week for Owners as a combination of bad weather in the Atlantic, a tight tonnage list and the arb opening up have enabled owners to push rates up around 10 points to sit now at around WS 135 for 37,000 tonnes from Continent to USAC. For 38,000 tonnes back haul market, a surge of activity has seen rates almost double with the market now at WS 110 level.
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