Rates slipped as the week closed out with the Atlantic sharply lower while rates in the east held fairly steady. There remained a few cargoes to be fixed in the Atlantic but more ships appeared and...

The market in the Middle East Gulf has remained under pressure with China discharge fixed at WS 54 and Thailand fixed at WS 51 which is down 3.5/4 points, all basis 270,000 tonnes.

A strong end to the week with weather delays in China combined with stronger iron ore prices boosting activity.

Reduced demand saw Middle East Gulf rates for 270,000 tonnes to China ease two points to WS 69, while 280,000 tonnes to US Gulf was fixed at WS 26 cape/cape and an options cargo agreed WS 30.

Whilst the rate levels have come off during the week, there still seems to be a reasonable balance.

VLCC rates remained positive in nearly all loading areas, the biggest gains were in the Caribbean with a west coast India bound carqo fixed 8% higher at US$4.00 million.

A Singapore holiday mid-week disrupted trading for the big ships particularly in the East and although rates dipped, the key West Australia/China run was slipping under the mid US$8.00s for 3-6...