Rates in the Middle East arena softened by WS 1.5-2 points over the week, despite geopolitical tensions remaining. 270,000mt Middle East Gulf to China is now at WS 48 level. 280,000mt Middle East Gulf to US Gulf basis Cape to Cape is at WS 20. Meanwhile 260,000mt West Africa to China settled at WS 47-48 range. 270,000mt US Gulf to China reduced significantly from $5.7m to about $5.25m.
130,000mt West Africa to UK Continent undulated this week, rising to WS 75 before falling back to low WS 60s. It was a different story for 135,000mt Black Sea to the Mediterranean as owners managed to apply pressure, lifting the market a couple of points to low WS 80s. In the Middle East, the market remained flat with no reported activity, leaving 140,000mt Basrah to the Mediterranean assessed at WS 39-40 level.
This week in the Mediterranean the recent gains were cancelled out, with rates falling about WS 12.5 points to low-mid WS 90s for 80,000mt Ceyhan to the Mediterranean. 80,000mt Cross-North Sea rose a couple of points to WS 90 level. It was a rise that was mirrored in the Baltic, with 100,000mt Baltic to UK Continent now at WS 65. There was limited activity stateside, a short week, due to American Independence Day, pulled the rates down a dozen or so points, with 70,000mt Caribbean to US Gulf now at WS 67.5 and 70,000mt US Gulf to the Mediterranean at WS 65.
The Middle East clean market weakened this week, more so for LR1s, as the differential to LR2s was reduced. 75,000mt Middle East Gulf to Japan fell about 5 to 7.5 points to very low WS 90s. 55,000mt Arabian Gulf to Japan capitulated to mid WS 90s, from WS 110 a week ago. 35,000mt Middle East Gulf to East Africa dropped off about WS 12.5 points to WS 120. In Europe, rates for 37,000mt Continent to the US Atlantic Coast initially rose to mid/high WS 140s before settling back to WS 137.5/140 level. 30,000mt Cross-Mediterranean rose almost WS 30 points to WS 165 region. This was aided by increased delays in the Turkish Straits, causing a stronger Black Sea market.
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