The attack on Saudi Arabia led to volatile bunker prices and owners capitalised on this with Middle East Gulf rates for 280,000mt to US Gulf basis Cape to Cape now being rated up four points at WS 31 level, whilst 270,000mt to China gained around 15 points to WS 69 region. Rates for 260,000mt West Africa to China followed suit and last seen here was at WS 71, up almost 14 points. The market for 270,000mt US Gulf to China now sits at between $8.05 to $8.1 million in contrast to $6.5 million a week ago.
An active market from both the Caribbean and US Gulf thinned the West Africa list. On the back of this, and an influx of West Africa cargoes, rates for 130,000mt West Africa to UK-Continent gained 30 points plus, with Total and Petrogal fixing at WS 90 and WS 95 respectively. The 135,000mt Black Sea to Mediterranean trade gained 7.5 points to WS 80. The 140,000mt Basrah to Mediterranean run initially held at WS 30 before being dragged up by a firmer West Africa market and the market here now is hovering close to WS 34.5.
80,000mt Ceyhan to the Mediterranean gained another five points, with UML paying WS 110. The 80,000mt North Sea to UK-Continent trade firmed over 10 points to WS 110 region, with potential for further increases against a tightening tonnage list. In the 100,000mt Baltic to UK-Continent market, rates have been steady at around WS 90. The main beneficiary has been the 70,000mt Caribbean to US Gulf market, which gained 30 points to WS 150. There is even talk of WS 160 having been done, however, these rates are also appealing to Suezmaxes, which may subsequently cap rates. 70,000mt US Gulf to the Mediterranean rose 25 points to now sit in the very low WS 140s.
The market for 75,000mt Middle East Gulf to Japan eased 3.5 points to WS 97.5, while the 55,000mt to Japan trade fell from WS 112.5 to the mid WS 90s. In the 37,000mt clean Continent to US Atlantic Coast market, rates were flat at WS 95, while the 38,000mt US Gulf to UK-Continent backhaul trade was down around four points to very low WS 70s.
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