TANKERS Firm market in all areas, with a number of Suezmaxes fixtures out of Arabian Gulf due to short supply of VLCC tonnage. – Chevtex has fixed two alliance tonnage for 135,000 tons each with destination Far East at W/S 175, while Mitsui has fixed M/T «Front Comor» for 130,000 tons of cargo, loading Jan. 2, discharging Far East, also at W/S 165. – Very firm market for Suezmaxes in the N. Sea too. In the Med. also, due to almost 24 delays for transiting Bosporus rates have moved to W/S 200. – W. Africa at W/S 155-160 with destination US Gulf / USAC and W/S 170 with destination Med. OMV has fixed M/T «Max Jacob» for 130,000 tons of cargo, loading Dec. 26, discharging Med., at W/S 170. – Aframaxes at steady levels in the Med. and firm, while Caribs with lesser inquiry but rates remaining strong. – In the Med. Noc has fixed M/T «Astro Saturn» for 80,000 tons of cargo, loading Dec. 19 Libya, discharging Med., at W/S 235, while Tamoil for 100,000 tons of cargo, loading Dec. 19 Libya with same destination, has fixed M/T «Hellas Warrior» at W/S 205. – In the Cont., N. Hydro for 80,000 tons of cargo, loading Dec. 27 West Coast Norway, discharging UKC, has fixed M/T «Nordatlantic» at W/S 250. – On Suezmax, BP for 135,000 tons of cargo, loading Dec. 25 UK, discharging US Gulf, has fixed M/T «Front Warrior» at W/S 165. – In Caribs, Valero for 50,000 tons of cargo, loading Dec. 18, discharging USAC, has fixed M/T «Cotopaxi» at W/S 235. – In W. Africa, OMV for 130,000 tons of cargo, loading Dec. 26, discharging Italy, has fixed M/T «Max Jacob» at W/S 170. – In Arabian Gulf, Tianbao for 255,000 tons of cargo, loading Dec. 21, discharging China, has fixed M/T «Apollo» at W/S 150. DRY CARGO Capesize rates remain strong generally for spot and period business. – Spot Panamax rates have eased in the last few days, but with period rates remaining strong the market looks ready to regain ground. m Brokers in the East attribute the easier rates to the Japanese owners offering vessels at lower rates for covering Christmas and New Year period. – Sinochart has fixed M/V «Kateria,» 174,004 dwt, built 1985, delivery China Dec. 15-20 for Australian round voyage, at USD 72,500 daily. – In the Atlantic and on T/C periods, Navix has fixed M/V «China Steel Growth,» 176,000 dwt, built 2002, delivery Passero for 11-13 months’ trading, at USD 58,000 daily. – On Panamax in Far East, Hanjin has fixed M/V «Foremost,» 69,100 dwt, built 1998, delivery China Dec. 20-25, redelivery Japan, at USD 36,500 daily. – In Atlantic, China Steel has fixed M/V «Fortune Lady,» 74,600 dwt, built 1998, delivery Passero Dec. 15-18, trip via Brazil, redelivery Taiwan, at USD 33,000 daily, while Glencore has fixed M/V «Nikos O,» 60,050 dwt, built 1982, delivery mid-Dec. Belgium, trip via East Coast S. America, redelivery UKC/Med., at USD 24,000 daily. – On smaller sizes, Armada has fixed M/V «Georgis Carras,» 42,000 dwt, built 1984, delivery Morocco mid-Dec., trip via US Gulf redelivery UKC/Med., at USD 21,000 daily. – On coal cargoes, CPPE for 65,000 tons of cargo, loading Dec. 20-25 USAC, discharging Portugal, has paid USD 15.00 per ton with 25,000 tons load and 25,000 tons discharge.