There is a sense of ‘déjà vu’ in the Middle East Gulf, with rates largely unchanged. For 270,000 tonnes going long east, the market is still around WS 33/35 level with very low WS 30s obtainable for over aged, ex dry dock or newbuilding tonnage. Going west , 280,000 tonnes to US Gulf cape/cape has been steady albeit off half a point, with last seen here being WS 22.5 agreed by Bahri.
In West Africa it has been a better week for owners. Force majeure has been lifted at both Bonny and Qua Iboe and rates have been steadily rising with the market for China discharge around WS 42.5/43 level while some charterers are said to have paid WS 45 ‘for east discharge’. Indian charterers have fixed at the equivalent of around WS 41 all basis 260,000 tonnes cargo. There have also been renewed levels of enquiry from both South America and the Caribbean with the 2016 built ‘Maran Artemis’ reportedly fixing here to Glasford at $2.9 million representing a gain of $300,000 from the start of the week. A run to WC India went at around $2.3m, up around $100,000 from last seen here. On the Continent, Hound Point to South Korea has been fixed at a steady $3.5m with fuel oil from Rotterdam to Singapore up marginally to $2.35 million. In the Mediterranean, Socar took ‘Sandra’ from Ceyhan to Taiwan at $3.85m.
West Africa has seen significant gains with the market up 17.5 points from the start of the week to sit now at around WS 65 for 130,000 tonnes cargo. A much tighter tonnage list combined with more cargoes in the market after the lifting of force majeure together with more enquiry from the Caribbean/EC Mexico has been the driving force here. In the Black Sea rates for 135,000 tonnes have benefitted from the improved West Africa market and the October program also has additional stems compared to September. Last seen here was at WS 65, representing a gain of 10 points from the start of the week. In addition in the Mediterranean there have been longer hauls in the market and the Indians fixed two ships from Ceyhan to EC India at $1.815 million and $1.86 million, while a Sidi Kerir to Singapore run went at $2.125m with Ningbo option at $2.5m
In the Mediterranean, it has also been a better week for owners with the market gaining around 12.5 points to sit now at WS 92.5 level with WS 95 said to have been paid from Black Sea. Healthy activity has led to a more balanced tonnage list and with talk of force majeure being lifted at a number of Libyan ports, this could potentially put more pressure on charterers, giving owners a greater choice of cargoes to consider.
In the Baltic, rates have been steady at WS 70 basis 100,000 tonnes cargo. However, with a recent easing of enquiry and more tonnage coming available, brokers feel the market is under pressure here and owners will struggle to maintain this level. North Sea has been quiet this week and rates here have dropped around 3 points with the market now assessed at around WS 93.25.
As a result of a build-up of tonnage, the 70,000 tonnes Caribbean up coast market slipped back to WS 90 representing a loss of 15 points from a week ago.
On the Continent, the market for 55,000 tonnes from ARA to US Gulf has held steady in the mid WS 80s while in the Mediterranean last seen here was at WS 82.5. However with the 50,000 tonnes Caribs up coast market still languishing in the low W80s, the feeling is that rates could come under downward pressure from ballasters from USA.
In the Middle East Gulf , it has been a difficult week for owners as a steady build up of tonnage has seen the 75,000 tonnes market to Japan lose around 15 points to now be assessed by brokers at WS 75. It has been a similar story in the 55,000 tonnes AG/Japan trade with rates here also softening , down 10 points to WS 85.
In the 37,000 tonnes Cont/USAC trade, rates have dropped a further 5 points with WS 70 having now been repeated a number of times as a healthy supply of tonnage has taken its toll. Owners’ cause has not been helped either by competition from tonnage being either ex dry dock or with a less preferred last cargo history. The 38,000 tonnes backhaul market from US Gulf has sparked back in to life with plenty of enquiry here leading to rates rising 17.5 points to WS 70.
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