The United States has become quite quiet, because there is very little space left able to load within October. Europe is very poor with masses of idle tonnage. In Asia, there is more prompt business and ships are gradually easing back into November.
The theme this week to shipping out of the U.S. is simply no space left for October, almost irrespective of the route. U.S. Gulf-to-Far East is potentially the busiest of all the trade lanes, but the only way to make any business work is to pay very large freights and hope to attract some of the smaller ships that would not normally head out to Asia. For instance, there are several traders trying 10,000 cubic meters of ethanol from the U.S. Gulf to the Philippines and are willing to pay almost $100 per ton, but owners are sticking out for $120/t. There are all sorts of products theoretically looking to move in this direction, including styrene, glycols, phenol, paraxylene and ethylene dichloride but base oils is not one of them.
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