Charterers continued to have the upper hand as rates for 270,000 tonnes to China languished in the very low WS 40s while the market for 280,000 tonnes Cape/Cape to US Gulf lost 0.5 points to WS 18.5. West Africa to China fell WS 1.25 points to WS44.5 for 260,000 tonnes cargo. Crude from Hound Point to Ningbo fixed and failed at US$4.35 million. UML fixed a Ceyhan/Taiwan run at US$3.9 million. A Caribbean/west coast India voyage went at US$3.2 million on 2002 built tonnage.
Although the volume of enquiry improved, healthy tonnage availability in West Africa saw rates for 130,000 tonnes to Europe fall a further 2.5 points to WS 50. Black Sea hovered around WS 65 for 135,000 tonnes to Mediterranean. In the Mediterranean, Algeria/Finnart was fixed WS 60 basis 130,000 tonnes. A Libya/north China trip went at US$2.2 million while Ceyhan/Mumbai was fixed at US$1.5 million after attracting 12 offers for the cargo.
A steady week in the Mediterranean saw rates around WS107.5/110 as competition from Suezmaxes capped rates around this level. In the Baltic, maintenance at Primorsk combined with vessels taking system cargoes left little for owners to fix and rates unsurprisingly dropped 10 points to WS 75 while 80,000 tonnes cross North Sea rates followed suit also down 10 points to WS 90.
The 70,000 tonnes Caribbean/up coast trade has weakened by a further five points to sit now at WS 85.
The market for 55,000 tonnes from ARA or Skikda held around WS 102.5 level, down 2.5 points from a week ago with tonnage continuing to ballast across after the 50,000 tonnes Caribs/upcoast market fell 15 points to WS 90.
Improvements in both the LR1 and LR2 markets saw rates gain 10 points to WS 100 for 55,000 tonnes Middle East Gulf/Japan whilst 75,000 tonnes to Japan was paying in the region of WS 90.
The 38,000 tonnes backhaul trade from US Gulf/UKCont continued to weaken losing almost 15 points to finish the week around WS 75. This lead to more tonnage ballasting across and rates in the 37,000 tonnes Continent/USAC market came under downward pressure easing 16 points to WS 145, with potential to soften further.
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