TANKERS Aframax market has eased off in the N. Sea, although transatlantic rates remain firm. Med. seems to be maintaining latest levels with KPC having fixed M/T «Vallombrosa» for 80,000 tons of cargo, loading Feb. 14 Libya, discharging Italy, at W/S 260, while CSSA for same cargo quantity, loading Feb. 15 Baltic, discharging Med., has fixed M/T «Vergina II» at W/S 250. Suezmaxes quieter out of W. Africa, with only two VLCCs having been fixed with early March loading dates, destination US Gulf, at W/S 135. Caribs steady on Aframaxes, with ATMI having fixed M/T «Mersey Spirit» for 70,000 tons of cargo, loading Feb. 23 Covenas, discharging US Gulf, at W/S 250. In the Med., OMV for 80,000 tons of cargo, loading Feb. 17-18 Algeria, discharging Italy, has fixed M/T «Panagia Armata» at W/S 245. In the Cont., CSSA for 80,000 tons of cargo, loading Feb. 13 N. Sea, discharging UKC, has fixed M/T «Eagle Atlanta» at W/S 180. In Caribs, Stasco for 70,000 tons of cargo, loading Feb. 12 East Coast Mexico, discharging US Gulf, has fixed at W/S 275. DRY CARGO Capesize market remains quiet, with lesser inquiry. SK shipping agreed about USD 17,400 daily for the 172,091-dwt, 1997-built M/V «Channel Poterne» for a trip from Japan Feb. 8-10 via Hay Point to redcar. Panamax trade has started to move due to an increase in Japanese orders. In Atlantic, the focus is based on short T/C period for 4-6 months or slightly longer, with rates around USD 12,500 daily. On Handymax M/V «Salusnavis» out of US Gulf, 39,940 dwt, 1985 built, was fixed for a trip to the eastern Medl in the upper USD 9,000 daily range. On Panamax in Far East, BHP Billiton has fixed M/V «Hang Ta» 74,682 dwt, built 1998, delivery Japan beg. Feb. for 2 legs, redelivery Atlantic, at USD 10,400 daily. In Atlantic, Worthington has fixed M/V «Alaska» 71,694 dwt, built 1997, delivery UK beg. February for 4-6 months period, at USD 12,500 daily. On smaller sizes, IVS has fixed M/V «Elixir» 44,000 dwt, built 1982, delivery S. Africa Feb. 10-15, redelivery UKC, at USD 10,000 daily.