The increase in 2019 Worldscale flat rates led naturally to big changes in the rates fixed. Middle East Gulf to China for 270,000mt fixed at around WS 62.5 to China, while 280,000mt to the US Gulf paid around WS 25.5 basis Cape/Cape. West Africa to China basis 260,000mt was assessed at WS 61/62. US Gulf to South Korea went at both $ 6.5 and $6.3 million. Fuel from Rotterdam to Singapore fixed at $5.1 million, while crude from Hound Point to South Korea went at $6.25 million and subsequently at $5.95 million.
Improved tonnage availability with more ballasters from the East saw West Africa come under renewed downward pressure, with the market nudging below WS 90 for 130,000mt to UK-Continent and the potential to soften further. Black Sea/Mediterranean rates for 135,000mt were steady in the low-mid WS 130s, with the Turkish Straits delays still around 30 days total, north and southbound.
UML fixed 80,000mt from Ceyhan at almost WS 165.75, with ENI fixing Black Sea fixed WS 175. In the Baltic, Total took ‘NS Arctic’ for 100,000mt at close to WS 109.75 while also fixing Tsakos tonnage for 80,000mt, cross North Sea, at WS 114. Caribbean rates for 70,000mt from Venezuela to the US Gulf held at WS 200.
Rates for 75,000mt Middle East Gulf/Japan hovered in the low WS 120s, with the market for 55,000mt in low WS 160s. Healthy tonnage availability saw the market for 37,000mt Continent/USAC come under renewed pressure, with Exxon fixing Fawley/USAC at around WS 116. In the 38,000mt backhaul trade from the US Gulf, the market initially dipped to WS 115 before recovering to WS 125.
Source: The Baltic Briefing
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