Improved Middle East Gulf activity for 270,000 tonnes long east saw rates rise 10 points to WS 53/53.5. Shorter runs to Singapore-Thailand were at WS 54 and WS 55, with increased Atlantic inquiry and Asia charterers taking cover ahead of the upcoming holidays prompting gains.
West Africa/China rates for 260,000 tonnes saw similar rises hitting WS 60 with Unipec paying this for Dynacom tonnage earlier this week.
Owners were more bullish with rates in the low WS 80s from West Africa/Atlantic runs as increased demand in the Middle East deterred some ships from ballasting to the area. Rates Middle East Gulf/West jumped to WS 40 from the upper WS 20s for 140,000-tonne westbound cargoes.
Black Sea/Mediterranean rates for 135,000 tonnes from the Black Sea firmed 7/7.5 points to WS 85.
A recent increase in activity and a tighter tonnage list steadied rates at the high WS 90s with brokers suggesting levels could reach three figures.
Earlier surplus tonnage drove the market lower with Petrogal covering 80,000-tonnes from Sidi Kerir to Portugal at WS 77.5. The Black Sea and cross Mediterranean rates dropped to WS 90/97.5 from WS 107.5/110 a week ago.
The Caribbean/up coast market weakened with Petrobras fixing St. Lucia/USG at WS 130 off 10 points.
Healthy demand and a tight position list saw gains of 20 points with 75,000-tonnes in the low WS 140s Middle East Gulf/Japan with a similar story for LR1s with rates rising 10 points to WS 152.5 for 55,000 tonnes to Japan.
The market steadied at WS 125 for 37,000 tonnes from Continent to USAC and climbed 10 points this week to WS 80 for 38,000 tonnes from the US Gulf to the UK/Continent.
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