A lack of enquiry has enabled charterers to maintain the pressure on owners. Reduced delays in Chinese ports have increased tonnage avails thereby weakening rates in the Middle East Gulf. 270,000 tonnes for long east is now fixing at WS 52 with short east going in the mid WS 50s representing a 4.5/5 point loss from the start of the week. Going west , rates have eased about seven points with 280,000 tonnes now reported covered at around WS 32 cape/cape.
West Africa rates have similarly come under renewed downward pressure and after Maran tonnage repeated the WS 59.5 that was also agreed last week to China, a run to Taiwan is now understood to have been fixed by CPC at WS 56. West Africa to EC India was been covered at the equivalent of WS 57.25, down around six points from last week. On the Continent, fuel oil is understood to have been fixed from Rotterdam to Singapore at $3.75 million basis port costs at loadport for charterers account, while crude from Hound Point to Korea went at $5.25 million, down around $550,000 from end of last week. Caribbean to WC India is understood to have been fixed by Essar at around $3.75 million in contrast to the $4.25 million previously agreed, while a run to Singapore is said to have paid around $4.8 million.
West Africa has been more active this week and rates have regained some lost ground with last done here now at WS 65 to Europe, up almost seven points from the start of the week and with French industrial unrest there is potential for further improvement with the tonnage list looking thinner and cargoes still in the market. In addition, Black Sea rates for 135,000 tonnes have jumped considerably from WS 75 at the start of the week to WS97.5/100 level. The start of the week saw a number of suezmaxes fixing afra part cargoes in the Mediterranean and this has also contributed to the much tighter position list. Earlier in the week 130,000 tonnes was fixed by OMV at WS 72.5 from Ceyhan to Trieste at WS 72.5, while Socar reportedly paid WS 75 also from Ceyhan to UK-Cont-Med. Subsequently, a forward cargo off 1 July was covered by Sonatrach on Great Eastern tonnage at around $2.73 million to Thailand.
It has been an active week in the Mediterranean and with the market here initially firm, a number of suezmaxes took afra part cargoes helping to keep rates in check. For natural sized tonnage in the normal fixing window, rates are steady at around WS 112.5/115 from Ceyhan with last done in the Black Sea also at WS 115, while earlier in the week a long voyage from Sidi Kerir to Portugal went at WS 107.5.
In the Baltic, a lack of enquiry led to the market losing around 12.5 points to settle at WS 87.5 for 100,000 tonnes. The 80,000 tonnes cross North Sea market has moved in tandem with the Baltic, with the market losing around 10 points to settle at around WS 102.5 although the strike situation in France may have an impact of the rates.
The Caribbean has been steady throughout the week with the market for 70,000 tonnes going upcoast established at WS 100, while a shorter trip from EC Mexico to the US Gulf reportedly went at a marginally firmer WS 102.5.
On the Continent, a tight tonnage list in conjunction with early ships being fixed, has led to rates for 55,000 tonnes from ARA to the US Gulf gaining around 12.5 points to sit presently at around WS 110/112.5 level.
In the 37,000 tonnes Cont/USAC trade, it has been more a case of expectation not being realised as a lack of enquiry dampened owners’ confidence. Consequently rates have eased back modestly, losing their early gains to settle now at around WS 117.5/120 level.
On the 38,000 tonnes backhaul run from US Gulf/UK-Cont, it has been a disappointing week for owners with rates remaining under pressure, losing around 5 points to settle at around WS 75.
For daily tanker market assessments from the Baltic Exchange please visit www.balticexchange.com/market-information/