Middle East Gulf rates remained unchanged, with Thailand fixed at WS 86 and China rates around WS 83.5/84 for 270,000mt. US Gulf-bound 280,000mt went at WS 31 Cape/Cape. West Africa/China fixed at WS 79.5, basis 260,000mt. US Gulf to South Korea went at $8 million, and Venezuela to China at $8.2 million. Occidental covered US Gulf/Singapore-China at $6.75-$7.75 million respectively. Hound Point to South Korea went at $6.95 million and Skaw/China at $6.65 million.
West Africa rates eased slightly, with a long run to Wilhelmshaven fixed at WS 95 for 130,000mt. Black Sea/Mediterranean rose 2.5 points to WS 107.5 for 135,000mt, but charterers conceded higher numbers to tempt owners east with South Korea paying $4.0-4.1million, up $400,000.
Mediterranean rates regained ground with Ceyhan and Black Sea up 10 points to WS110, basis 80,000mt. Firmer rates were paid, with further gains expected in the Baltic and North Sea with tonnage tight. A 100,000mt cargo from the Baltic jumped 15 points to WS 115 and cross North Sea 80,000mt paid WS 132.5. The Caribbean Aframax market saw a 50-point gain to WS 205-210 for 70,000mt from Venezuela to US Gulf.
A buoyant Caribs/up coast market saw rate-gains of 55 points, keeping owners from ballasting to northwest Europe, prompting a 10-point hike for 55,000mt from the ARA/US Gulf to WS 125 despite slow trading.
The Middle East Gulf/Japan trade saw rates for 75,000mt steady at WS 100 but firming 10 points to WS 130 for 55,000mt. The Continent/USAC trade peaked at WS 135 before easing to WS 127.5 for 37,000mt. Healthy activity in the 38,000mt backhaul prompted a 32.5-point jump to WS 132.5.
Source: Baltic Briefing