The Middle East Gulf rates have eased around four points this week for 270,000 tonnes to China as the 2011 built DHT Amazon went at WS 47 to China before the 2003 built New Dynasty agreed WS 45 for the same run. Older tonnage over 15 years of age went to Korea and Taiwan at WS 38 and WS 39 respectively. 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 hovering around WS 49/50 level with last seen fixed here being the Front Duke at WS 50 to Unipec. Monroe fixed a replacement on the C. Innovator at WS 59 basis 260,000 tonnes to USAC. Caribbean rates have slipped further with Petrochina said to have fixed Navarin at $2.7 and $3.7 million respectively for Singapore and China discharge, representing a drop of around $300,000 from end last week. Whilst an EC Mexico to Korea trip was fixed at $3.8 million.
An uneventful week in West Africa saw status quo maintained as rates were around WS 65/67.5 region to Europe while a West Africa/Indonesia run went at WS 80.
Black Sea rates for 135,000 tonnes to the Med have been steady at around WS 75/77.5 region. In the Mediterranean, a straight Libya/UKC voyage was fixed at WS 72.5 while a longer Ceyhan/ECCanada trip went at WS 57.5. Ceyhan to Singapore fixed and failed at $1.8 million.
Healthy amounts of enquiry in the Mediterranean were more than counteracted by a lengthy tonnage list leaving rates largely unchanged in the mid to high WS 80s with Black Sea rates at similar levels.
An uneventful week in the Baltic has seen rates for 100,000 tonnes firmly established at WS 60, while in the 80,000 tonnes cross North Sea market (excluding Sullom Voe load) rates have similarly held at around WS 85.
It has been a grim week for owners in the 70,000 tonnes Caribs up coast market. Political uncertainty in Venezuela saw a significant reduction in activity and with a healthy tonnage list including oil company relets around, rates have dropped around 20 points to WS 80 with this level achieved by Petrobras for a St Lucia to Port Neches run.
There is a sense of déjà vu here with rates 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 Middle East Gulf to Japan trade with rates continuing to firm with the market gaining a further 6/6.5 points to sit now at around WS 122.5 level and it is a similar story in the 55,000 tonnes market, where rates have firmed around WS6/7 points to WS 127.5 region and brokers feel there is potential for further improvement here.
The only upside for owners in the 37,000 tonnes Cont/USAC trade is that the market has crept back off the bottom to sit now at between WS 117.5/120 region, representing a gain of between 2.5/5 WS points from a week ago. The back-haul market for 38,000 cargo has remained grim as rates fell a further five or six points to sit now at WS 75 region.
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