There is a sense of déjà vu in the Middle East Gulf with rates for 270,000 tonnes to China hovering around WS 37/38, while going west, 280,000 tonnes cape/cape to US Gulf still pays around WS 17.5. West Africa to China weakened marginally to WS 41 for 260,000 tonnes cargo. Crude from Hound Point to South Korea was unchanged at $3.7 million. Fuel from Rotterdam to Singapore was fixed at both $2.65 and $2.75 million, while UML covered at $2.6 million, but this was on Iranian tonnage. In the Caribbean area, HOB paid $4.25 million for EC Mexico to South Korea.
West Africa rates have nudged up almost five points with ENI paying WS 60 for 130,000 tonnes from Angola and Exxon also paid WS 60 both to Europe, while Monroe took Agelef tonnage to USAC at WS 60. Black Sea rates are benefiting from the firmer West Africa market with rates edging up towards WS 70 for 135,000 tonnes. In the Mediterranean, Exxon paid $2.56 million for Algeria to Melbourne while Petraco paid $1.65 million from Libya to Singapore. A short Libya to Fos run went at WS 77.5 basis 130,000 tonnes.
The 80,000 tonnes cross Med market came under downward pressure with Libya/Italy runs paying between WS 92.5 and WS 95 and Ceyhan paying mid WS 90s. Black Sea afras eased from WS 105 to WS 102.5 level. It was a better week for owners in the north with the ice spreading in the Baltic and rates improving 15 points to WS 85 basis 100,000 tonnes; the 80,000 tonnes cross North Sea market sits now at WS 100, up 10 points from a week ago. A Sullom Voe cargo is said to have been fixed at WS 105.
The 70,000 tonnes Caribbean/upcoast market has been steady at WS 110/112.5 region.
After a cargo from North Spain to US Gulf went at WS 105, ‘Antikeros’ achieved an improved level of WS 110 from Skikda to US Gulf and this latter fixture appears to have encouraged owners on the Continent with rates here now at around WS 107.5 for 55,000 tonnes.
The LR2 market has continued to firm with rates for 75,000 tonnes from Middle East Gulf to Japan nudging up 15 points to around WS 115 with LR1s steady at WS 115 basis 55,000 tonnes cargo.
In the 37,000 tonnes Cont/USAC trade, the market held at WS 155/157.5 level before there was talk of Repsol taking two Scorpio ships at a softer WS 150. The 38,000 tonnes backhaul trade from US Gulf/UKCont has gained around 15/17.5 points to WS 115/117.5 level.
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