Positive sentiment saw rates in the Middle East Gulf gain seven points to WS 73-74 for 270,000 tonnes going long east and westbound to the US Gulf up slightly to WS 28.5 for 280,000 tonnes Cape/Cape. West Africa/China firmed around five points to WS 74 and west coast India fixed at equivalent of WS 77 each basis 260,000 tonnes. Caribbean/west coast India went at US$3.7 million up US$500,000. BP fixed US Gulf/Singapore-China at US$4.2-5.2 million respectively and east coast Mexico to South Korea went at US$5.2 million. In the Mediterranean, Litasco reportedly paid US$5.65 million for Ceyhan/Taiwan.
Tonnage tightened after a number of suezmaxes fixed aframax stems, prompting a seven-point rise to WS 85 for 130,000 tonnes from West Africa to Europe. Similarly, the 135,000-tonne Black Sea/Mediterranean run paid WS 102.5, up 10 points. BPCL finally covered Novorossisk/Cochin at US$2.25 million after originally agreeing US$1.85 million.
Limited enquiry combined with improved tonnage availability prompted a 30-point drop to WS 125 for 80,000 tonnes for Mediterranean loading while the Black Sea paid WS 127.5-130. Baltic rates eased 10 points to WS 105 for 100,000 tonnes cargo with a lack of enquiry in cross North Sea trade leading to a 10-point drop to WS 125 basis 80,000 tonnes cargo.
The 70,000 tonnes Caribbean/up coast remained under pressure losing 10 points to WS 130.
Owners achieved steady rates holding around WS 122.5-125 for 55,000 tonnes from ARA and Skikda to the US Gulf.
Rates for the 75,000-tonne and 55,000-tonne AG/Japan trade held at WS 115 and WS 120 respectively.
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