A slower week In the Middle East Gulf saw rates ease four points to WS 90 for 270,000mt to China. Going west, 280,000mt to the US Gulf was assessed three points lower at around WS 40 Cape/Cape. West Africa to China basis 260,000mt lost three points to WS 86. While US Gulf to China was fixed at $8.5 million.
West Africa was steady at WS 120 for 130,000mt to UKCont. Uncertainty in the Turkish straits delays saw Black Sea/Mediterranean rates firm 15-20 points to WS 170-175 region for 135,000mt Mediterranean, with South Korea fixed at both $4.9 and $5.0 million.
Improved volumes of enquiry saw rates for 80,000mt in the Mediterranean recover, with Ceyhan load initially fixed at WS 120. Tightening tonnage resulted in Sidi Kerir being covered at WS 137.5 and Black Sea at WS 135 on a vessel ex dry-dock. Baltic rates for 100,000mt held at low-mid WS 90s, with cargoes requiring short options paying WS 95. The 80,000mt cross North Sea trade was steady at WS 115-117.5. In the Caribbean, rates held at WS 235 for 70,000mt from Venezuela to the US Gulf.
Status quo was maintained in the 75,000mt Middle East Gulf/Japan trade at WS 120 with the market for 55,000mt marginally improved at WS 130.
After Exxon fixed 37,000mt Continent/USAC at WS 150, limited enquiry and healthy tonnage availability saw rates slip, with Shell then fixing at WS 140. The 38,000mt backhaul trade from US Gulf fell 7.5 points to WS 115, before a surge of enquiry saw rates firm to WS 135.
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