In the last few weeks we have mentioned huge market improvements. This week’s activity puts those improvements into the shade. In the Middle East Gulf, rates have shot up around 100% from a week ago. 280,000mt to the US Gulf, via Cape to Cape, is now rated at WS 90 level, while 270,000mt to China last rated at WS 175. However, we hear rates have moved on to WS 205 and possibly higher still. In West Africa, rates for 260,000mt to China have risen to the WS 160 level. However, the next is likely to be in line with Middle East Gulf to China. Meanwhile 270,000mt US Gulf to China has leapt $2m to $14.5m, yet reports are emerging this morning of close to $16m being done for a Singapore discharge.
Rates for 130,000mt West Africa to UK Continent have moved up about 50 per cent to WS 240-245 level, although at the time of writing WS 275 is rumoured to have been done, while 135,000mt Black Sea to the Mediterranean voyages also saw a similar push upwards to WS 250-255 level. Rates for 140,000mt Basra to the Mediterranean have doubled to WS 110 region.
The market in the Mediterranean slid back about 35 points to WS 187.5-190 level. In the North Sea, rates for 80,000mt East Coast UK to UK Continent increased by another 25 points to WS 195-197.5 region, while 100,000mt Baltic to UK-Continent showed an increase of about 12.5 points to WS 152.5-155 level. A rollercoaster week in the 70,000mt Caribbean market as rates initially fell and then recovered, with Caribbean to US Gulf up 50 points week-on-week to WS 200 region, and US Gulf to the Med seeing the same increase to WS 195.
The firm sentiment remained to the fore, rates for 75,000mt Middle East Gulf to Japan gained almost 15 points to just below WS 150, with the LR1s following suit, up over 10 points to WS 130 region. In the 37,000mt clean Continent to US Atlantic Coast market rates quickly firmed, peaking at WS 135, before easing back 10 points, with plenty of ballasters from USA contributing to a surplus of tonnage here and leaving this market under downward pressure. The 38,000mt US Gulf to UK Continent backhaul trade gained 15 points to mid WS 90.
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