TANKERS Firmer conditions for VLCCs not only on short runs but on long ones too. Zhenrong has fixed tanker Pacific tonnage for 270,000 tons of cargo, loading October 16, discharging China, at W/S 130. – West Africa seems more active with a number of new cargoes while rates have moved upward from W/S 105 to W/S 110. Valero has fixed Alliance tonnage, loading beg.-October, discharging US Gulf, at W/S 110. – Med. relatively quiet on Aframaxes and Suezmaxes too, with rates at W/S 105 and W/S 100 respectively. – Cont. market continues to strengthen, with large amounts of stems for end-month’s loading. Repsol has fixed M/T «Progress» for 80,000 tons of cargo, loading UK September 28, discharging Spain, at W/S 103.75. – Caribs weaker, with rates around W/S 150. M/T «SKS Torrens» for 70,000 tons of cargo, loading September 23 East Coast Mexico, discharging US Gulf, has been fixed at W/S 150. – In the Med., Chevtex has fixed M/T «Alfa Italia» for 80,000 tons of cargo, loading September 28, discharging Med., at W/S 105. – In the Cont., BHP has fixed M/T «Nordic Yukon» for 80,000 tons of cargo, loading September 27, discharging UKC, at W/S 105. – In West Africa, ExxonMobil has fixed M/T «Shravan» for 130,000 tons of cargo, loading October 9, discharging Canada, at W/S 107.5. DRY CARGO Capers’ trading in the Atlantic has slowed down, with some early ships possibly having to concede lower rates. – In the East, rates continue to strengthen with a number of fixtures while details have not surfaced. The vessels «MMM Diana,» 140,086 dwt, built 1981, and M/V «KWK Genesis,» 168,404 dwt, built 1996, have been fixed but no more details are known. – Panamaxes are still being negotiated at firm rates, not only on trips but on periods too. M/V «Tai Plenty,» 73,060 dwt, built 2000, delivery Baltic for one year’s trading, was fixed at USD 16,750 daily. – In the East, M/V «Global F,» 73,729 dwt, built 1998, delivery China October 17-20, was fixed at USD 16.50 daily. – Cosco has fixed M/V «Top Beauty,» 73,941 dwt, built 1994, delivery end-September to beg.-October for one year’s trading, at USD 15,700 daily. – In the Atlantic, Armada has fixed M/V «United Sage,» 74,577 dwt, built 1998, delivery Germany end-September for two legs, redelivery Far East, at USD 19,500 daily.