Charter rates for crude tankers in the key Middle East market steadied at the beginning of last week after rising over the last few days on tightening tonnage levels. Shipbrokers said the rates, which had moved higher on the back of tightening tonnage supply coupled with a good supply of cargoes, could show further gains next week. VLCCs heading to Japan were pegged in the mid W50s with Singapore and South Korea discharges a couple of points lower. Brokers E.A. Gibson in a weekly report said there had been a reduction in the number of V/ULCCs available for charter in the lifting zone, giving optimism to owners.
West African liftings
continued to be dominated by million barrel vessels. Rates were assessed around the low W70s for trips to the U.S. In the U.K./continent market 80,000 tonners continue to attract W80 for inter UKC trips while in the Mediterranean Aframaxes were securing around W90 for typical cross Med hops.
Across the Atlantic the 70,000 Caribs-up U.S. coast market saw rates hovering around W100.