The reduction in the new 2016 Worldscale flat rates has led to spot rates increasing as owners look for equivalent 2015 returns. Thus we are now seeing rates for long east of around WS 107.5/110 on 270,000 tonnes with rates to the US Gulf hovering in the very low WS 60s. Brokers are saying rates remain under pressure here as charterers work quietly and for those who can take either new-buildings, ex-drydock or tonnage over 15 years old a discount is achievable.
In West Africa, rates to China eased due to pressure on Middle East Gulf tonnage with WS 100 just concluded, representing a drop of 7.5/10 points from the start of the week. The fuel oil arb from Continent to Singapore would appear to have opened up with $6.3 million paid from Rotterdam basis port charges for charterer’s account and $6.5 million has been agreed basis owners paying at loadport. In the Caribbean, rates have been steady at $7.8 million level basis Singapore discharge.
It has been an active week in West Africa and levels have edged up from WS 110 to WS 115. In the Black Sea, Turkish Straits delays of around five to six days each way mean that Black Sea rates have continued to firm and after Chevron took Seacross for 135,000 tonnes at WS 132.5, Transway subsequently took a Shell re-let basis 140,000 tonnes at WS 140. For a long cross Med, Repsol are understood to have taken Gungen tonnage from Sidi Kerir to Spain at WS 139 basis 130,000 tonnes cargo.
Rates in the Mediterranean drifted down from WS 130 at the start of the week to settle at WS 115 level. Poor weather now is creating delays and uncertain itineraries for tonnage and brokers feel that levels will remain steady as charterers focus on either prompt vessels or vessels that have definite berthing prospects.
In the North Sea, rates for 80,000 tonnes to the UK-Cont have been stable at around WS 117.5. In the Baltic, levels initially eased modestly by three to four points down to WS 92.5 but with the onset of freezing temperatures, ice restrictions which were due to come in to force on 17 January, have now been brought forward to today and rates have firmed marginally to sit now at WS 95.
It has been an active week in the Caribbean and with around a dozen ships on subjects from Caribbs – US Gulf for mid-January loading, owners trading the 70,000 tonnes Caribbs up coast market have been able to keep the market at WS 117.5 and with a much thinner tonnage list in prospect, brokers suggest there is potential for modest firming here.
Off the Continent, in view of the weak market in the Caribbean, there has been a steady supply of ballasters, keeping rates at around WS 145 for 55,000 tonnes from ARA back to US Gulf.
A volatile week in the market for 37,000 tonnes from Continent to USAC led to an initial jump in rates of 20 points to a high of WS 160 before reduced levels of enquiry saw the market ease to WS 150, with ice class tonnage seeking a premium for going transatlantic.
In the 38,000 tonnes backhaul trade from the US Gulf, rates dropped throughout the week from WS 130 to as low as WS 105 before recovering modestly to WS 110 as sheer volume of fixing for both short and longer haul trips helped significantly thin the tonnage list.
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