The market in the Middle East Gulf bottomed out and after WS 36 was agreed for 270,000mt to Singapore, Unipec fixed to China at WS 39, up 1.5 points from last week. SPC took two Maran ships to Singapore and China, both at WS 39.25. Going west, rates for 280,000mt to the US Gulf were assessed 0.75 points higher at around WS 19.75 Cape to Cape. In West Africa, rates for 260,000mt initially held at around WS 41 before Maran tonnage fixed at WS 43 with CNOOC. From Mexico, HOB paid $4.775 million to Daesan and US Gulf to Korea went at $4.5 million.
There was healthy enquiry in West Africa, which saw rates for 130,000mt to Europe firm around 20 points. Exxon paid WS 77.5 to Europe and Cepsa agreed WS 75 for Spain. Black Sea rates similarly firmed with the market now at WS 95 for 135,000mt cargo, in contrast to WS 65/67 region a week ago.
In the Mediterranean, rates for 80,000mt from Ceyhan eased around 7.5 points, with UML fixing at WS 77.5. In Primorsk, the market for 100,000mt has been hovering in the low to mid WS 60s, with the latter paid on trips requiring short options. The 80,000mt cross-North Sea came under downward pressure, with Vitol able to fix WC Norway load at WS 80. The 70,000mt Caribs up-coast market was steady in the WS 75/77.5 region.
Rates for both 75,000mt and 55,000mt from the Middle East Gulf to Japan weakened modestly to WS 95 region. Increased enquiry saw the market for 37,000mt Continent to USAC firm from WS 145 at the end of last week to low WS 150s. The 38,000mt trade from the US Gulf to UKContinent fell 10 points to low WS 80s.