It has been a better week for owners as a number of new buildings and older ships were fixed away, whilst there is still good fresh enquiry and rates have firmed for 270,000 tonnes going long east to the region of WS 77.5 in contrast to the WS 68/69 level of a week ago. Going west rates for 280,000 tonnes cape/cape to US Gulf have been steady at around WS 40 although higher was paid but this was on a cargo needing both east and west options thus leading to a slight premium being agreed.
In West Africa 260,000 tonnes to China has been fixed at WS 71.5 but with the firmer levels in the Middle East Gulf, rates are showing an upward trend and today the route is being assessed at WS 75 region. A shorter run to Indonesia went on the 2000 built ‘Kalymnos’ at WS 75 basis 260,000 tonnes and Indian charterers, basis 260,000 tonnes have paid the equivalent of almost WS 78.5 compared to WS 71.75 at the start of the week. In the Caribbean area, rates have eased with $4.75 million paid for USG/Singapore in contrast to the $5.0 million paid previously, albeit for Caribs loading. In the North Sea, Petroineos fixed and failed at $3.85 million for fuel from Rotterdam to Singapore while Hound Point to Korea is said to have been covered at around $5.0 million.
Although it has been a more active week in West Africa, rates have largely stayed unchanged at WS 72.5 basis 130,000 tonnes as sheer volume of tonnage has kept a cap on rates here. Black Sea rates have likewise held at WS 80 basis 135,000 tonnes to Mediterranean, while Shell covered a run to WC India at $1.8 million. In the Mediterranean a shortish voyage from Sidi Kerir to Spain was covered at WS 70 basis 140,000 tonnes while a long voyage from Sidi Kerir to Ningbo was fixed by Unipec at $2.65 million and a Ceyhan to EC Canada went at WS 70 basis 135,000 tonnes.
In the Mediterranean and Black Sea, it has been a marginally better week where the healthy amounts of enquiry from the Black Sea have pushed rates up to around WS 95/100 region basis 80,000 tonnes and the Mediterranean seemed to benefit with rates nudging close to WS 100 level. However subsequently, a Sidi Kerir/Portugal run drew plenty of offers and ended up fixing 80,000 at WS 87.5.
In the Baltic, a slow start to the week saw rates come under downward pressure with the market easing to barely WS 90 before a modest recovery, on the back of increased amounts of private enquiry saw owners regain lost ground to reset the market at WS 95. In the 80,000 tonnes cross North Sea trade rates have been steady throughout the week in the mid/high WS 90s.
It has been a very disappointing week for owners plying the 70,000 tonnes Caribs/up coast trade, as a heavily overtonnaged market saw rates lose a further 30 points to sit presently at WS 95.
On the Continent, it has been another slow and uneventful week with rates for 55,000 tonnes from ARA to US Gulf hovering in the very low WS 150s, although, with the 50,000 tonnes Caribs/up coast market losing 25 points to WS 140 region, brokers feel this may encourage more ballasters to the Continent thus putting renewed downward pressure on rates here.
It has been a slightly better week for owners in the Middle East Gulf where rates for 75,000 tonnes to Japan have finally nudged up from the WS 80 level with the market now assessed in the low to mid WS 80s and there has been a similar modest recovery in the 55,000 tonnes AG/Japan trade with rates now back at around WS 110/112.5 level after initially dipping down to WS 105.
A lackluster week in the 37,000 tonnes Cont/USAC trade saw rates stagnant in the mid to high WS 130S with the arb closed here, while in the 38,000 tonnes back haul trade from US Gulf to the Continent plenty of tonnage in the natural fixing window has seen rates head further south with the market now at WS 82.5, down around 7 points from the start of the week.
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