In the Middle East Gulf, rates have remained under pressure. There is more evidence of a two tier market with older tonnage, or tonnage ex dry dock or newbuildings fixing long east at barely WS 30, while tonnage without any encumbrances is able to achieve levels of around WS 33/34. Going west, 280,000 tonnes to the US Gulf cape/cape is marginally softer at around WS 24, representing a drop of about half a point.
In West Africa, the Eliza fixed to Unipec at WS 40 for 260,000 tonnes to China but with very limited enquiry here and tonnage building in the Atlantic, rates have softened further with Athenian tonnage fixing at WS 37.5 for a run to Taiwan, while the equivalent of WS 33/34 has been done for West Africa/India basis 260,000 tonnes. In the Caribbean, a run to WC India was reportedly fixed at $2.0m representing a drop of around $200,000 from last previously seen here, while in the North Sea, $3.5 million was agreed from Hound Point to South Korea though this deal subsequently failed on subjects. Fuel oil has been fixed from Rotterdam to Singapore at $2.2 and $2.3 million respectively.
In West Africa, the market for 130,000 tonnes has settled at between WS 45/47.5 consolidating the previous week’s gains. Steady levels of enquiry, combined with enquiry in other load areas has seen the tonnage list thin significantly. It is a similar story in the Black Sea with rates for 135,000 tonnes still hovering around WS 52.5, and Vitol took Kapsali here at WS 50 basis 140,000 tonnes cargo. There has been renewed interested for longer haul cargoes from Med to Singapore with $1.5 million paid here for crude from Ceyhan.
In the Mediterranean, it has been a more active week but with healthy tonnage availability, rates have stayed largely unchanged at around WS 65 for both Med and Black Sea loading. However, with the market having been so weak recently, owners may be encouraged by talk of renewed Libyan enquiry and with a modest improvement in the suezmax market, there are possible grounds for cautious optimism here.
In the Baltic, the market has gained 5/7.5 WS points on the back of sustained amounts of enquiry with levels now settling at around WS 52.5 basis 100,000 tonnes cargo. This firmer sentiment has also filtered through to the 80,000 tonnes cross North Sea trade with rates rising from WS 77.5 to around WS 82.5, while a longer trip from Flotta to Huelva is said to have been covered at WS 75.
The Caribbean market has continued to firm this week as charterers work their second decade cargoes. With uncertainty on itineraries, tonnage with a reliable position has been able to capitalise pushing rates up 5/6 points to a high this week of WS 97.5.
On the Continent, despite limited tonnage availability, the market for 55,000 tonnes from ARA to the US Gulf has held steady in the high WS 80s, with Med and West Africa/TA runs going in the low/mid WS 80s respectively.
In the 37,000 tonnes Cont/USAC trade, rates have lost around 10 points from the start of the week to settle at around WS 80. Plenty of tonnage with newbuildings also entering the market have not helped owners’ cause here, with runs to West Africa only paying around WS 100. The 38,000 tonnes backhaul market from US Gulf has been weak with rates steady at WS 57.5.
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