It has been a slower week as charterers successfully managed to take the steam out of the market. A number of COA liftings were covered but market tonnage had little to offer for and as the pressure built, rates have dropped over 15 points for 270,000 tonnes going long east. China has been fixed in the very low WS 60s and there is talk of WS 57.5 having been agreed for South Korea discharge although this ship was said to have been wanting this direction for possible dry dock afterwards. What is not in dispute is that market cargoes are seeing plenty of offers with charterers in a strong position. Similarly rates for 280,000 tonnes from Middle East Gulf to US Gulf are now around WS 35, down from WS 42 at end of last week, and remain under downward pressure.
In West Africa, rates have eased in line with the Middle East Gulf with the market now at WS 67.5 for China basis 260,000 tonnes cargo quantity. In the Wetern Hemisphere, EC Mexico to South Korea has been fixed at $5.46 million while Caribbean to WC India is now reportedly fixed at $3.55 million in contrast to the $3.9 million seen previously. On the Continent, fuel oil from Rotterdam to Singapore is said to have been fixed by Koch at around $3.8 million.
An active week in West Africa saw rates for 130,000 tonnes to Europe rise around 10 WS points with the market peaking at WS 92.5 and WS 90 has been repeated a number of times . It has been a more volatile week in the Black Sea with rates for 135,000 tonnes moving up in to the mid WS 90s compared to the W 85 level of a week ago. An early replacement cargo went at WS 105 region and rates today are assessed in the low WS 100s on the back of this. Going east, IOC covered a Black Sea to WC India run at $2.1 million. A busy program from Algeria took out a degree of tonnage aiding both West Africa and Black Sea. In the Mediterranean, Valero took Nordic Cosmos from Algeria to UKC at WS 80 with USGulf and EC Canada options at WS 65 and WS 67.5 respectively, while Petroineos took SCF tonnage from Algeria.to UKC-Med at WS 97.5 and WS 102.5 all basis 130,000 tonnes. A long haul from Ceyhan to Balik Papan was covered by BP at $2.7 million with a ship to ship Malta to Singapore fixed at around $2.0 million by Litasco.
In the Mediterranean, an attractive longish voyage from Sidi Kerir to Portugal went at WS 87.5, otherwise rates for cross Med have generally held in the very low WS 100s , with Black Sea rates hovering around WS 102.5 level.
In the Baltic, a build up of tonnage has seen rates for 100,000 tonnes ease around 10 points to WS 80 with a Mediterranean run fixed at WS 75. The ‘knock-on’ effect has been felt in the North Sea where rates for 80,000 tonnes to UKCont have eased around 7.5 points to WS 100.
In the 70,000 tonnes Caribs/upcoast market, the start of the week saw rates drift down to WS 100 level before a modest recovery took effect as weather delays and uncertain itineraries enabled owners to end the week back at WS 105 region.
Although tonnage was tight, rates initially held at WS 105 region before a replacement cargo from Scandinavia to US Gulf reportedly went at WS 120. However with a fair bit of fixing and failing rates for 55,000 tonnes from ARA to US Gulf are now assessed at WS 110 while Skikda to US Gulf recently went on subjects at WS 105.
In the Middle East Gulf, it has been an uneventful week with the market for 75,000 tonnes seemingly settled at WS 85, while in the 55,000 tonnes AG/Japan rates have recovered from WS 100 level to sit now at around WS 105 with potential for further modest increases.
The 37,000 tonnes Cont/USAC market started the week at around WS 175 but with a falling backhaul market leading to more ballasters, rates lost 10 points to sit now at WS 165 region. However, with a long weekend looming, brokers feel there could be renewed downward pressure on rates here. In the 38000 tonnes back haul trade rates started the week at WS 90 before a brief rally saw the market rose to WS 95. Thereafter rates have settled back in the very low WS 90s.
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