Rates eased again in the Middle East Gulf and Atlantic regions. For the 280,000mt Middle East Gulf to US Gulf (Cape/Cape routing) trip rates are assessed another half a point lower than last week, at just below WS22. Meanwhile the rate for 270,000mt Middle East Gulf to China has repeated the 1.5 point drop this week, to WS43 level (a roundtrip TCE of $1.1k/day). In the Atlantic, rates for 260,000mt West Africa to China similarly fell 1.5 points to WS45 (a TCE of $4.4k/day roundtrip) and 270,000mt US Gulf to China is down $37,500 at $5.425m (a TCE of $7.1k per day roundtrip).



In West Africa the market slipped with the rate for 130,000mt Nigeria/UK Continent down four points to between WS70/72.5 (showing a roundtrip TCE of about $6.12k/day). However, the latest reports detail a continued slide with Exxon taking a 2009 built SCF Surgut at WS70 and the Advantage Start at WS67.5. The market for 135,000mt Black Sea/Med dipped 1.5 points to WS83.5 (a TCE roundtrip of $6.1k per day). The market for 140,000mt Basrah/Lavera has been quiet again this week and rates have eased a further 5.5 points to WS37.5.



In the Mediterranean, owners have been able to steady the downward trend by keeping the rate for 80,000mt Ceyhan/Lavera flat at WS126.5 ($15.9k per day TCE roundtrip). In Northern Europe the market for 80,000mt Cross-North Sea has risen by three points to WS130 (a TCE of about 15.2k/day) and 100,000mt Baltic/UK Continent gained a further seven points week-on-week to between WS110/112.5 (a TCE of about $20.8k per day roundtrip). Across the Atlantic, the market for the short local voyages has eased slightly again with the 70,000mt Caribbean/US Gulf rate down two points to WS125 (a TCE of $9.3k/day roundtrip) and 70,000mt East Coast Mexico/US Gulf is a single point lower at just below WS130 ($11.9k/day TCE roundtrip). Going against the negative flow Stateside, the market for the 70,000mt US Gulf/UK Continent voyage rose by five points to WS112 (a TCE of $7.3k/day roundtrip however, basis 1-way economics this improves significantly).



There was some positive news for Owners of LR1s this week with owners booking modest gains. Reliance took a number of fixtures on TC5 and ST Shipping placed a ship on subs for W115 for early December dates. On MRs there was more positive news with rates climbing in the east, with Trafigura fixing the RITA M for $360k Ulsan to Vietnam. MRs in the Med benefitted from a number of cargoes coming to the market all at once, with eight prompt ships to absorb the demand. Seven of those were currently on subs at the time of writing. Cross med cargoes are currently looking at rates of around W180. However, MRs in the Americas have seen little activity and little to feel cheerful about. Perhaps there is cheer around the corner for Owners with demand from Mexico having the potential to lift that market.