Rates for Middle East to US Gulf trip (routing via the Cape/Cape) moved up a shade (half a point) to WS19.5 level while rates for 270,000mt to China have risen a modest 1.5 points to just over WS35 showing a round-trip TCE of about $2,000/day. In the Atlantic, rates for 260,000mt West Africa to China rose six points to WS40 (TCE of about $8,800/day) and 270,000mt from US Gulf to China saw rates add about $250k to $4.55m (about $8,500/day TCE).



In the 135,000mt Black Sea/Med market rates have eased four points to WS61.5 (a negative round-trip TCE of $1,600k/day) while for 130,000mt Nigeria/UK-Continent levels dipped 3 points to WS55 (appox $3,400/day TCE) and for 140,000mt Basrah/Med it fell a single point to WS19.5 level.



In the cross Mediterranean market, rates firmed with 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera gaining 14 points to WS90 (a TCE of about $4,500/day). In Northern Europe 80,000mt Cross-North Sea firmed a couple of points to WS88 (negative $2,600/day TCE), while rates for 100,000mt Baltic/UK-Continent again rose about 3.5 points to the WS68 mark (about $2,800/day TCE). On the other side of the Atlantic the market fell back again after the recent rise, with rates for 70,000mt Caribbean/US Gulf dropping 14 points to WS93 (a TCE of about $3,500/day), while for 70,000mt US Gulf/UK Continent rates lost 15 points to the WS80 level.



The start of the week saw rates drop just over eight points to very low WS70s for LR2 tonnage on Middle East Gulf/Japan route. After a modest improvement in the latter half of the week, where Marubeni paid in the region of WS74, we hear today WS70 is again reportedly agreed and a coated newbuilding is said to have gone at WS66.5. The LR1 market was more stable with rates hovering at, or very close to WS105, with signs of potentially downward pressure due to some Charterers moving up to LR2 tonnage. In the MR market, 35,000-dwt clean into East Africa was being fixed early in the week at around WS140 - and this was on tonnage over 15 years old. Subsequently, Owners have been unwilling to consider such level. Rates are assessed higher in the WS150s, with one Owner said to be unwilling to break WS165. For Continent to USAC it was an uneventful week, with rates creeping up modestly. There was one fixture reported at WS115, but otherwise levels have been ticking over at around WS110 with West Africa runs generally paying 10 points more. The backhaul (Houston/Amsterdam) rate spluttered briefly into life with more naphtha enquiry pushing up rates from very high WS60’s to between WS72.5/75 region. For runs into Brazil the market was flat at or close to around WS110. It was another disappointing week for handies on cross Med as rates continued to slide, but perhaps have now bottomed out at WS130, which is about eight points lower than the start of the week.