TANKERS Aframax rates in the Cont. appear steady, while the IC-class ships are still receiving healthy premiums. – Med. busier with a lot of fixing and failing. Most has fixed M/T «Gaetano d’Alesio» for 80,000 tons of cargo, loading Feb. 15 Egypt, discharging Venice, at W/S 265. – Firm conditions in the Caribs too. Trigent has fixed M/T «Four Island» for 70,000 tons of cargo, loading Feb. 15, discharging US Gulf, at W/S 300. – W. Africa in spite of the activity and the fresh inquiry for Suezmax rates slipped further with latest fixtures around W/S 140 and W/S 142.5 for US Gulf / USAC destinations. – In the Med., Karran for 80,000 tons, loading Feb. 17, discharging UKC/Med., has fixed M/T «Genmar Endurance» at W/S 240. In the Cont., M/T «Luzon Spirit» for 80,000 tons of cargo, loading Feb. 18 N. Sea, discharging UKC, has fixed at W/S 180. – In Caribs and on smaller sizes, PMI has fixed M/T «Demetra» for 50,000 tons of cargo, loading mid-Feb. East Coast Mexico, discharging US Gulf, at W/S 265. DRY CARGO Rates remain essentially strong for Handymax tonnage. In the US Gulf a 45,000 tonner was booked for a trip to the East at USD 14,500 daily, while last week Panocean fixed the 46,670-dwt, 2000-built M/V «Alam Mesra» for a trip from the US Gulf to the East at USD 12,000 daily and USD 150,000 ballast bonus. – Capers are still weak, but there are signs that the market is starting to firm. Kline has fixed M/V «Bavang,» 161,059 dwt, built 1995, delivery Sines Feb. 11-12 for a trip to the East, at USD 24,000 daily. – On Panamax, rates are firming with the owners rapidly upping their ideas. Period activity continues to drive the market further. – Torm has fixed M/V «Scenery Sea,» 69,358 dwt, built 1991, delivery mid-Feb. China for 2-3 legs at USD 11,500 daily, while Deiulemar has fixed M/V «Morviken,» 72,000 dwt, built 1999, delivery mid-Feb. Taiwan for 3-5 months period, at USD 12,000 daily. – In the Atlantic, Bottiglieri has fixed M/V «Giuseppe Bottiglieri,» 75,265 dwt, built 1999, delivery Italy mid-Feb., redelivery Atlantic, at USD 12,000 daily. – On smaller sizes, Seaboard has fixed M/V «Catherine V,» 37,612 dwt, built 1984, delivery Feb. 18-22 Argentina, redelivery S. Africa, at USD 8,000 daily and USD 110,000 ballast bonus.