After last week’s modest improvements in the market, limited demand has seen rates in the Middle East Gulf stall. For 270,000 tonnes going long east the market still sits at around WS 40 with shorter runs to Singapore-Thailand paying around WS 41. There was a deal done at WS 38 for short east, but this was done on ex dry dock tonnage. Going west, rates for 280,000 to US Gulf have been steady at WS 20 cape/cape.
West Africa rates for 260,000 tonnes to China have come under renewed downward pressure and after easing from WS 49/50 region to WS 48, there is now a report of WS 46.5 being agreed for a run to Taiwan.
In the Caribbean, rates have firmed and Caribs to WC India which was previously fixed at $2.75million has now been covered at $3.36 million. Hound Point to South Korea has been fixed at $4.2 million, in contrast to the $4.05 million agreed last week. Fuel oil from Rotterdam to Singapore has been fixed at both $2.95 and $3.0 million.
A less active week in West Africa, combined with the last of the September programme being covered has seen rates come under downward pressure. A significant overhang of tonnage going in to October including ballasters from the east, leaves the market now at around WS 70 to Europe representing a 6.5-point drop from a week ago. Total are understood to have agreed WS 70 for USAC discharge, while a voyage to the east is said to have gone at WS 78.75.
Black Sea rates for 135,000 tonnes have been steady around WS 85 region, aided by the stronger aframax market and helping to thin the tonnage list. Going east, Dukkar are said to have fixed fuel from Black Sea to Singapore at $2.05 million. In the Mediterranean, Valero took the ex-dry dock SCF Sayan for 130,000 tonnes from Algeria at WS 50 to US Gulf with UKC discharge at WS 67.5 while a Ceyhan/WC India run went at $1.87 million.
It has been another encouraging week for owners, with the market gaining around 20 WS points to low WS 130s basis 80,000 and a number of prompt Libyan cargoes helping to push the market up here with Black Sea rates at similar levels. However, with suezmaxes competing here, brokers feel this may well limit further potential gains.
In the north, healthy volumes of enquiry in the third decade have led to a somewhat thinner tonnage list and rates in the Baltic for 100,000 tonnes have gained almost 20 points to WS 90. While in the 80,000 tonnes cross North Sea market, rates have likewise followed suit with last done here being at WS 107.5 representing a gain of 5/7.5 points from a week ago.
The 70,000 tonnes Caribs up coast market has been steady throughout the week at around WS 140 level, down around 15 points from a week ago, as things start to get back to normal there.
A slow week has seen rates for 55,000 tonnes from both ARA and Skikda coming under downward pressure with the market now assessed at between WS 115/117.5 region.
The market in the 75,000 tonnes AG to Japan trade has continued to firm with rates gaining around 2.5 points to WS 112.5 level and it is a similar story on the LR1s where rates for 55,000 tonnes to Japan have firmed a further 5/7.5 points to around WS 137.5.
It has been sustained one way traffic in the 37,000 clean Cont/USAC trade with still plenty of available tonnage and the market now at WS 102.5, representing a drop of 17.5 points from the start of the week. Likewise, in the 38,000 tonnes back haul trade from US Gulf to UK-Cont, there has been only limited activity going transatlantic and rates here have dropped around 12.5 points to barely WS 80 level.
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