Rates eased in the Middle East Gulf as charterers focused on ‘disadvantaged tonnage’ with South Korea and China fixed at WS 77.5 and WS 80, but recovered as GSC took DHT tonnage at WS 85 for 270,000mt cargo to South Korea. Westbound rates for 280,000mt to the US Gulf still hovered around WS 32/33 Cape/Cape. West Africa to China fixed at WS 77/78 basis 260,000mt, before firming to WS 82.5. US Gulf to China paid $8 million and Hound Point to South Korea fixed at $6.8 million.
West Africa gained 7.5 points to WS 107.5 for 130,000mt to UKCont with firming markets in most areas. Black Sea was steady at WS 107.5 for 135,000mt to Mediterranean with South Korea covered at $4.0/4.1million.
Mediterranean rates jumped, with Hamra/Mediterranean fixed at WS 182.5 up 60 points from the previous week. Black Sea went at WS 180, up from WS 162.5. Baltic rates for 100,000mt gained five points to WS 120, basis no short options, and 80,000mt cross North Sea paid between WS 145/150, up 15 points, after peaking at WS 155. North Sea open tonnage fixed from the Caribbean, where rates gained a further 50 points to WS 260 for 70,000mt from Venezuela to the US Gulf.
In the 75,000mt Middle East Gulf to Japan trade, Shell paid five points more at WS 105, while 55,000mt cargoes were a touch easier in mid/high WS 120s. Healthy tonnage availability saw levels in the 37,000mt Cont/USAC trade ease 10 points to WS 115, while the 38,000mt backhaul trade from the US Gulf was steady at around WS 135.
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