A slower week mainly due to a large percentage of the main players being in Dubai. Rates for Middle Eeast Gulf basis 270,000 tonnes cargo drifted down gently with WS 63 being last paid for a short run to Thailand and long east is evaluated now at around WS 61/62 level. Going west, Bahri took Athenian tonnage for 280,000 tonnes to the US Gulf at WS 36 cape/cape at the start of the week. Though activity is starting to increase again with a report of WS 38 cape/cape being paid for EC Canada and Total is understood to have agreed WS 39 to UK-Cont basis suez/suez with option of cape/cape at WS 41.
Although the Atlantic has been busy, the market for 260,000 tonnes from West Africa to China has eased down to WS 66.75 while a shorter run to Cilacap which is draft restricted is said to be on subjects at around WS 70. A short trip to UK-Cont was covered by Shell on Ellinis at WS 75.
In the North, fuel oil from Rotterdam to Singapore has been covered at both $5.5 and $5.7 million, whilst a crude run from Hound Point to Korea was reported at $8.1 million, down around $225,000 from a week ago. The Caribbean/Singapore trade had been largely unchanged at $6.95 million before a Bahri re-let managed to achieve $7.15 million while WC India discharge went at a steady $6.1 million.
The status quo was generally maintained in West Africa with rates steady at WS 80. By contrast the increasing Turkish straits delays (some charterers expecting around 10 days transit time) has seen charterers reach out for loading as far ahead as 16/18 December. Chevron have been active taking two Besiktas ships both at WS 110 for 135,000 tonnes, Minerva tonnage with no rate reported as well as fixing aframax tonnage. In the Mediterranean, Repsol covered 140,000 tonnes from Sidi Kerir to Spain at WS 87.5.
The market has remained firm with rates from Sidi Kerir/Ceyhan hovering around WS 115/117.5 level. An active week from the Black Sea, with the inherent straits delays has seen rates nudge up further with both WS 117.5 and WS 120 being done here.
Baltic rates basis 100,000 tonnes size have settled at WS 102.5, down around 2.5 points from the end of last week. In the cross North Sea trade, rates for 80,000 have been steady throughout the week at WS 115.
Continued ullage delays and uncertain positions in the US Gulf led to further firming in the Caribbean / up coast market with rates gaining a further 17.5 points to WS 190 for 70,000 tonnes. However with improved weather and charterers holding back, levels appear to have stabilised now.
Off the Continent , the market for 55,000 tonnes to the US Gulf has firmed further to around WS 140, as a result of the strong Caribbean market (which has risen to high WS 180s) enticing tonnage to stay local rather than ballast across.
Rates for 37,000 tonnes from Continent to USAC started the week at WS 135 but a lack of enquiry combined with an excessive tonnage list has seen rates fall by around WS10. The backhaul market for 38,000 tonnes was more active due to better levels of enquiry for short haul trips to Mexico/central America which quickly reduced the tonnage list and rates rose around WS 10 to the WS 120 level.
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