TANKERS Rates remain firm in all areas for VLCCS and Suezmaxes while on Aframaxes, market appears weaker with less demand. – In the Arabian Gulf, SK has fixed M/T «Violanda» for 270,000 tons of cargo, loading Feb. 12, discharging S. Korea, at W/S 160. – On Suezmaxes, Europet has confirmed the fixture of M/T «Knock Whillan» for 138,000 tons of cargo, loading Jan. 17 Novorossisk, discharging Med., at W/S 228 while Exxonmobil has fixed M/T «Sea Magic» for 135,000 tons of cargo, loading Egypt Jan. 30, discharging UKC, at W/S 205. – In W. Africa, Stasco has fixed M/T «Front Leader» for 130,000 tons of cargo, loading Feb. 6, discharging UKC/Med., at W/S 200 while Koch has fixed Alliance tonnage for same cargo quantity, loading Feb. 2, discharging US Gulf, at W/S 190. – Aframaxes, as forecast, appear weaker, with rates at W/S 142.5 on the Cont., and W/S 180 in the Med. So far, it seems that the firm Suezmax market has had minimal affect on this type of vessel. – Caribs are even weaker, with VALERO having fixed M/T «Genmar Nestor» for 70,000 tons of cargo, loading Jan. 18, discharging USAC, at W/S 135. DRY CARGO On Capers, charterers appear to have scheduling problems, particularly with ore cargoes. Ore ports globally appeared to be running at full capacity, thus making mainly Chinese and Japanese charterers defer some cargoes. – In the Far East, Pan Ocean was linked to the M/V «Channel Poterne,» 172,091 dwt, built 1997, delivery Jan 31-Feb. 2 Kashima, for 4-6-month period at USD 23,000 daily. – On T/C periods, BHP Billiton, with delivery Cape Passero Jan. 19-21 for 2 years trading, has fixed M/V «Iron King,» 161,167 dwt, built 1996, at USD 17,250 daily. – On Panamaxes, rates in Far East continue to rise. Kline has fixed M/V «Seafarer,» 75,706 dwt, built 2000, delivery S. Japan Jan. 16-18, trip via Kembla, redelivery Japan, at USD 15,500 daily. – In the Atlantic and on US Gulf/Japan grain route, Conagra has fixed M/V «Ispat Guarav» for 54,000 tons of cargo, loading end-Jan. to beg.-Feb at USD 27.25 per ton with 11 days all purposes. – On Handymax/Handies, rates remain stable. – Transfield fixed M/V «Full Rich,» 43,217 dwt, built 1995, delivery Passero end-Jan., via Black Sea, redelivery Far East at USD 10,000 daily.