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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.
Going west, rates dropped two points to WS 24.5 cape/cape for 280,000 tonnes to US Gulf. West Africa to China followed suit losing 9.5 points to WS 53.5.
ST fixed a Caribs/Singapore run at US$4.15 million, while Caribs to WC India went at US$3.75 million.
Crude from Hound Point to South Korea was fixed at US$4.75 million, having previously fixed a different vessel at this level and failed.
Rates pushed up five points to around WS 95 before easing and now sit at around WS 91.25 region for 130,000 tonnes basis west Africa to Europe.
Black Sea remained steady at WS 95 to Med, while Ceyhan/Canaport went at WS 75 all basis 135,000 tonnes.
Petroineos fixed Algeria/Fos at WS 110 and a Libya/Gothenburg trip went at WS 85 both basis 130,000 tonnes.
Going east, Unipec paid US$2.4m for Sidi Kerir to Ningbo.
The market for 80,000 tonnes cross Med was steady at WS 90. Rates for 100,000 tonnes from Baltic to UKC held in the low
WS 70s and cross North Sea rates for 80,000 tonnes (excluding Sullom Voe) increased five points to WS 95, with potential to firm.
An active week in the 70,000 tonnes Caribbean/up coast trade saw rates maintained in low/mid WS 170s.
The 50,000 tonnes Caribs up coast market remained active gaining 20 points to WS 190, leading owners to stay local.
The lack of tonnage led to rates for 55,000 tonnes from ARA or Skikda/US Gulf to gain 7.5 points to almost WS 140.
Rates for 75,000 tonnes from Middle East Gulf/Japan gained four points to WS 110, while LR1s in the 55,000 tonnes Middle East Gulf/Japan trade firmed six points to around the WS 136 level.
A volatile week in the 37,000 tonnes Cont/USAC trade saw rates gain five points to WS 165 before improving tonnage availability saw levels soften to low WS 150s.
The 38,000 tonnes backhaul trade from US Gulf/UKCont firmed almost 17.5 points to WS 117.5/120 region.
The cape market continued to firm this week with the 5TC average pushing to further record levels: on Friday it was marked at US$29,693, further gains are expected.
There has been some encouraging period activity with the Pacific Century 180,467-dwt 2011-built fixing CJK mid-December basis 11-13 months at US$17,750 with Bilgent.
Bad weather persisted in Asia with CJK being closed again and this affected vessel schedules.
Although having hovered at around the US$9.95 level earlier in the week, the main ore route west Australia to China saw rates nudged down slightly to around US$9.70 and on Friday there was talk that US$9.60 was achieved by Rio Tinto.
The time charter equivalents of such voyage rates are still showing something around the US$26,000 level, it remains to be seen where rates go during the festive period.
At the week's end the Boston 177,828-dwt 2007-built fixed delivery Liuheng spot for a trip via Australia to China at US$28,000 with MOL.
The Atlantic remains very tight for tonnage and rates have improved during the week.
Earlier in the week the Evgenia 176,000-dwt 2011-built fixed delivery Wilhelmshaven 7/10 December for a trip via Colombia to Skaw-Passero at US$30,000 with Cargill.
There has not been much more activity on time charter reported, but the last C8 index assessment was US$36,925 - a jump of US$5,500 from the previous week.
The CCL vessel KSL Sapporo 180,960-dwt 2014-built open in Brazil fixed 160,0000 10% ore from Tubarao to El Dekheila for end December loading at US$13.50 with EZDK.
Sentiment seemed to have turned at the beginning of last week with most assuming rates would soften, but as the weekend approached there were one or two areas seeing a mini revival.
The North Continent saw some fresh mineral demand, rates are very solid albeit on shorter duration trades from the Baltic and USEC. Grain volume is seemingly petering out again.
There remains a two tier market with rates from EC South America weakening slightly.
Pacific coal demand from Indonesia and Australia saw a flurry of fixing at the end of the week, with rates appearing to show some resistance.
Earlier in the week tonnage in the South had been in demand whilst the lengthening tonnage list in the North and minimal grain activity saw owners struggle to cover on prompt positions.
Period demand remained healthy, buoyed by the positive FFA market, with a 2006-built kamsarmax on subjects at US$12,500 daily delivery India.
The supramax index remained flat this week, Atlantic rates from certain areas made ground but routes in the Asian market saw negative movements.
Period activity remained quiet, but a 63,000-dwt built 2017 was reported fixed delivery Houston for minimum four to six months trading redelivery Atlantic at US$15,750.
In the Atlantic, the highlight was from the US with better levels being achieved.
A 58,600-dwt was fixed for a trip US Gulf to the Far East at US$25,500, with rumours that an ultramax was fixed to India at around US$28,500 daily from north coast South America.
In Asia rates eased a little where a 56,800-dwt open CJK was fixed via CIS Pacific redelivery Yangon US$9,750.
Later in the week a 56,400-dwt fixed delivery Map Ta Phut for a trip via Indonesia redelivery south China at US$9,000.
We also saw activity from a 57,600 was linked to a trip delivery South Africa trip redelivery Far East at US$12,000 plus US$200,000 ballast bonus.
A supramax was also said to have been covered for a trip to the Continent at US$10,000
There were no significant changes on the handy index this week. The BHSI moved up point by point with gains in the Atlantic basin but losses in the Pacific.
Further improvement came from east coast South America and US Gulf but information remained limited.
On the period front, a 38,000-dwt 2016-built vessel open Norway was fixed for short period with a minimum 80 days at a rate in the low US$12,000s.
In the Atlantic, a 32,000-dwt 2008-built vessel open in the Baltic was fixed to north Spain at US$11,000.
A trip from east coast South American paid US$17,000 on a 34,000-dwt 2012 vessel to the west Mediterranean and mid US$18,000s on a 28,000-dwt 2009 vessel to US west coast at US$18,500. From the Pacific, a 34,000-dwt 2010-built vessel open South Korea was booked for moving slag via China to Singapore at US$7,250.
Moving towards the Indian Ocean, a 33,000-dwt 2015-built vessel was fixed in the mid US$10,000 delivery Kandla.
This report is produced by the Baltic Exchange.
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