In the Middle East Gulf there seemed to be considerable tonnage to choose from. Rates for 270,000 tonnes to Korea have dipped down to WS 47.5/48 region with China paying in the very low WS 50s. The weak market has led some to discount rates for shorter voyages to Singapore-Thailand and a 2000-built ship agreed WS 44.5 to Sri Racha while more modern tonnage has struggled to achieve barely WS 50. Going west rates for 280,000 to US Gulf have been steady at between WS 23.5/24 cape/cape.
West Africa has seen rates for 260,000 tonnes to China slip further with the market now at WS 50/50.5 region, representing a 3-3.5 point drop, while a run to Taiwan went at WS 50. Going west, Monroe fixed at WS 60 for 260,000 tonnes to USAC. In the Mediterranean, Petroineos are said to have paid $3.375 million for an Arzew/Ningbo voyage. In the North Sea, BP covered at $3.7 million for Hound Point to South Korea, while Koch paid $2.6 million for ship to ship US Gulf to Singapore, with Hyundai agreeing $3.6 million for EC Mexico to South Korea.
An active week in West Africa enabled owners to maintain levels at around WS 65/67.5 region to Europe while a shorter run to South Africa went a WS 80 .
Black Sea rates for 135,000 tonnes to the Med have been steady at around WS 75 which is only 0.5 point from the start of the week. Korea discharge is understood to have been fixed at around $2.5 million. Delays in Fos and replacement business kept the Med ticking over, with a replacement from Algeria to US Gulf fixing at WS 58.75 level and a Ceyhan/Canada voyage went at WS 70 for 30 July loading. KPC covered 130,000 tonnes from Sidi Kerir to Milazzo at WS 80.
Healthy amounts of enquiry were more than counteracted by a lengthy tonnage list with charterers able to pick and choose at will. As such, rates weakened around 5-7.5 points to WS 82.5/85 level with rates from Black Sea in the mid WS 80s with the market remaining under downward pressure.
Last week’s mini-recovery in the Baltic was quickly snuffed out and with a well populated list, rates eased to barely WS 60 representing a loss of around 6/6.5 points. The chill winds in the Baltic were likewise felt in the North Sea and ST were able to fix 80,000 tonnes from Hound Point to UKCont at WS 85, when previously WS 92.5 had been agreed for WC Norway loading.
Further fresh enquiry in the 70,000 tonnes Caribs up coast market saw rates push up into the low 100s, with a replacement cargo fixing at WS 105 but brokers feel that rates may now have peaked.
The week started with a couple of ships fixing and failing and with aframaxes competing here, rates have been stuck at WS 102.5/105 region for 55,000 tonnes from both ARA and Skikda to US Gulf.
It has been another encouraging week for owners in the 75,000 tonnes AG to Japan trade with rates gaining around 12.5 points to WS 117.5 level while in the 55,000 tonnes market, rates have also firmed with the market up around five points at WS 115.
There has been precious little cheer for owners in the 37,000 tonnes Cont/USAC trade, as a well supplied market, combined with limited enquiry saw rates drift from WS 120 to sit now at WS 115 level. It is a similar story in the 38,000 tonnes backhaul trade, where rates have eased around 12.5 points from a week ago, to sit now at around WS 82.5.
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