Healthy levels of enquiry enabled owners to regain lost ground. Cargoes in the market saw only limited response pointing to a somewhat thinner tonnage list, due to delays in China. With owners’ firm sentiment, rates for long east in the Middle East Gulf have gained almost 12 points with 270,000 tonnes now being fixed to China at WS 62.5 and Taiwan at WS64.5, while a voyage to Philippines went at WS 65. Going west, rates for 280,000 tonnes to the US Gulf have crept up from WS 32.5 to WS 35 cape/cape.
West Africa rates benefited accordingly from the stronger market in the Middle East Gulf, gaining around 6.5/7 points with Unipec taking DHT tonnage as a replacement off 27/29 June at WS 64 to China, while West Africa to EC India has been covered at the equivalent of WS 60.5, representing a gain of around 3.25 points from last week. On the Continent, crude from Hound Point to Korea has held steady at $5.25 million.
In West Africa, rates have continued their climb. Suezmax rates in Middle East Gulf have firmed meaning ballasters from the East are focusing their attention here rather than just committing themselves to West Africa, and with tonnage tight until the end of the month combined with ships stuck awaiting discharge in France because of the industrial action there, plus delays in South Africa, WS 87.5 was done on a number of occasions, representing a 20 point gain from a week ago. Black Sea rates to Europe have held steady in the very low WS 100s throughout the week.
It has been an active week in the Mediterranean and with the French strikes the tonnage list remains tight. This has enabled owners to maintain the market here at between WS 117.5/120 with also WS 120 being agreed from Black Sea.
In the Baltic, a lack of enquiry and upcoming maintenance in Primorsk led to the market losing 10 points with last seen here being Stena tonnage fixing Unipec at WS 70 for 100,000 tonnes. The 80,000 tonnes cross North Sea market has moved in tandem with the Baltic. Despite French strikes there is no shortage of tonnage and the market has eased from high WS 90s to WS 95 which is understood to have been done by Total.
The Caribbean has been steady throughout the week with the market for 70,000 tonnes going upcoast established at WS 100, with repeating last done seemingly the order of the day.
On the Continent, it has been a good week for owners. With a tight tonnage list and a firmer Caribs market enticing ships to stay local rather than ballast across, rates for 55,000 tonnes from ARA to the US Gulf have gained around 10 points to sit presently at around WS 122.5/125 level.
In the 37,000 tonnes Cont/USAC trade, it has been a difficult week for owners. Plenty of tonnage and a lack of enquiry, despite the upcoming Posidonia , saw levels ease from WS 110 at the start of the week to WS 107.5. Owners’ cause here is not being helped by the weak backhaul market in the US Gulf where rates have fallen further to barely WS 70 level , thus encouraging tonnage open in USAC to ballast back across rather than drop down to the US Gulf.
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