It has been a slower week for owners and, with the May program all but finished, rates have been under downward pressure and the sentiment continues as a trip to Japan and a short run to Singapore were both reported fixed at WS 62.5 basis 270,000 tonnes cargo. Going west, the market for 280,000 tonnes to US Gulf is still hovering at barely WS 30 basis cape/cape .
In West Africa, rates for 260,000 tonnes to China have also eased, mirroring the softer sentiment in the Middle East Gulf. Rates started the week at WS 64 but a market quote subsequently attracted plenty of offers and Total were able to cover at WS 60 on Frontline tonnage for ‘east’ destination. Similarly, Indian charterers are said to have taken tonnage to EC India at the equivalents of both WS 65 and also WS 62.25 region. On the Continent, fuel oil has been fixed and failed at $3.7 million for Rotterdam to Singapore while Hound Point to South Korea is understood to have been fixed at around $4.85 million.
A healthy supply of tonnage for 3rd decade in West Africa has been more than sufficient to satisfy demand with the market for 130,000 rates looking settled at WS 72.5 to Europe, although a replacement cargo did achieve WS 75. In the Black Sea rates have nudged down around WS 1.5 points to WS 85 for 135,000 tonnes with Chevron understood to have paid $2.7 million for a Japan-South Korea run. In the Mediterranean, Exxon fixed 135,000 tonnes from Ceyhan to UKC-Med at WS 85 while BP reportedly took ‘Atlanta Spirit’ from Arzew to UKC-Med at WS75/85 with USGulf and USAC options at WS 60/62.5 respectively.
In the Mediterranean, a busy week was counteracted by a healthy tonnage list and rates have drifted down 5/7.5 points to sit now at around WS 105 with Black Sea rates at between WS 107.5/110 level.
The Baltic had an uninspiring week with rates for 100,000 tonnes stuck in a trough at WS 67.5 while in the 80,000 tonnes cross North Sea market rates have similarly held steady at around WS 100.
For 70,000 tonnes Caribs/upcoast market, rates at the start of the week initially held at WS 130 on the back of steady enquiry but as the week progressed and available tonnage grew significantly, the market fell dramatically and now sits at WS 102.5 level.
The market for 55,000 tonnes from ARA to US Gulf has been flat at around WS 112.5 throughout the week, with Skikda to US Gulf easing from WS 117.5 to settle also at WS 112.5.
It was a case of status quo in the Middle East Gulf with rates for 75,000 tonnes to Japan holding at around WS 105/107.5 level and it is a similar story in the 55,000 tonnes AG/Japan trade with rates steady at around WS 115.
The rates for 37,000 tonnes Cont/USAC have held in the very low WS 120s, although there was a deal done at WS 115. It has been a more encouraging week for owners plying the back haul route for 38,000 cargo as healthy amounts of enquiry pushed the market up from low WS 80s to sit now at WS 105 level.
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