Reduced demand saw Middle East Gulf rates for 270,000 tonnes to China ease two points to WS 69, while 280,000 tonnes to US Gulf was fixed at WS 26 cape/cape and an options cargo agreed WS 30. West Africa/China remained around WS 70 basis 260,000 tonnes cargo. Crude from Hound Point to South Korea was fixed at US$5.275 million. Bahri took 2002 built tonnage from Sidi Keir to Rotterdam at WS 67 basis 280,000 tonnes and EC Mexico to WC India went at US$4.2 million.
Limited enquiry in West Africa combined with good availability of tonnage saw rates initially ease 7.5 WS points to WS 72.5 before regaining some lost ground, to sit now at around WS 75/76 region. Likewise, in Black Sea, rates for 135,000 tonnes to the Med lost 2.5 points to WS 87.5. Black Sea/South Korea went at a softer US$2.85 million, while a shorter run from Ceyhan to Portugal went at WS 79 basis 135,000 tonnes size.
A flurry of enquiry in the Mediterranean helped thin the tonnage list and rates for 80,000 tonnes gained six points to around WS 100/102.5 region and Black Sea has been fixed at both WS 110 and WS 115. In the Baltic, rates for 100,000 tonnes initially held at WS 65 before firming to WS 70 with rates in the 80,000 tonnes cross North Sea trade now up 10 to WS 95 with Liverpool Bay load (which brokers say commands a premium) fixed at WS 102.5.
Steady enquiry in the 70,000 tonnes Caribbean/up coast kept the market at WS 100, though brokers feel there is potential for modest firming here.
After an initial deal at WS 117.5 was done, the market has settled at WS 115 for 55,000 tonnes from ARA and Skikda to US Gulf.
The market for 75000 tonnes from Middle East Gulf/Japan was maintained at WS 122.5 with 55,000 tonnes hovering around WS 125/127.5 level. Plenty of enquiry and a tighter tonnage list saw rates in the 37,000 tonnes Cont/USAC trade gain 35 points to WS 142.5/145 level before easing back, with WS 135 now said to be on subjects.
Rates for 38,000-tonnes from US Gulf to UKCont held in the mid WS 130s.
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