Despite fresh enquiry rates in the Middle East Gulf have remained steady with 270,000 tonnes for short east going between WS 61 and 63, while long east has gone at around WS 60/61. Lower rates have also been achieved, but this has been either on tonnage ex dry dock or over 15 years old. A new building, the DHT Jaguar agreed WS 57.5 to South Korea. Going west, Litasco covered 280,000 tonnes to the US Gulf at WS 38 Suez/Suez with option of cape/cape at WS 40.
In West Africa, rates have held steady at around WS 67.5 for China discharge. Off the Continent, fuel oil is understood to have been covered at a steady $5.5 million for Rotterdam to Singapore, while crude from Hound Point to Korea has been fixed at a softer $7.5 million, whereas last week there was a report of $8.1 million being agreed here.
Unipec are said to have fixed a Sidi Kerir to China run at $7.5 million, while Caribbean to Singapore was done reportedly at $6.0 million by ST, representing a drop of around $1.15 million.
It has been a more active week in West Africa leading to a modest rise of five points to settle now at WS 85. In the Black Sea rates for 135,000 tonnes to Europe are still seen at WS 102.5/105 level with Turkish straits delays and bad weather continuing to help owners’ cause here. In the Mediterranean, the last seen here was Socar taking Da Yuan Hu from Ceyhan to UK-Cont-Med at WS 88 and WS 90 respectively.
The market has remained steady in the Mediterranean/Black Sea as charterers have fixed further ahead, enabling them to keep rates in check. Ceyhan rates have held at around WS 115 with Black Sea at between WS 115/117.5. Libya loaders pay a premium with WS 130 done from Farwah for likely Italy discharge.
Sustained VLCC activity from Hound Point has put Aframax rates under pressure in the North Sea with levels easing 2.5 points to settle now at WS 112.5. The softening in the North Sea has seen Baltic rates struggle, and levels here have eased from low WS100s down to WS 95.
With Thanksgiving holidays in America and charterers having a better choice of tonnage in a reliable position, rates for 70,000 tonnes in the Caribbean/up coast trade have softened from WS 190 down to WS 170/172.5.
Off the Continent, the market for 55,000 tonnes to US Gulf has remained steady at WS 140, as the strong Caribbean market , paying in mid WS 180s basis 50,000 tonnes , continues to encourage tonnage to stay local, rather than ballast across.
Thanksgiving in the USA has led to a slower week in the market for 37,000 tonnes from Continent to USAC and rates have eased from low WS 120s down to WS 115/117.5. In contrast, good levels of enquiry in the 38,000 tonnes backhaul market from the US Gulf for both transatlantic and also local destinations, have enabled owners to maintain levels at around WS 120.
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