TANKERS Weaker conditions for VLCCs out of Arabian Gulf, while more than five fixtures were reported out of W. Africa for this size vessel. – Stasco for 260,000 tons of cargo, loading March 10, W. Africa, discharging US Gulf, has fixed M/T «Violando» at W/S 147.5, while Arcadia for same cargo quantity, loading March 13, discharging Far East, has fixed M/T «Astro Lyra» at W/S 115. – Stable Suezmax rates out of the same area, irrespective of destinations. Sun has fixed M/T «Genmar Prometheus» for 130,000 tons of cargo, loading March 10, discharging USAC, at W/S 192.5, while Cepsa has fixed M/T «Minerva Symphony,» loading Feb. 27, discharging Spain, at W/S 185. – Declining rates on Aframaxes in the Med. and Cont. – In the Med., more than seven modern units are open till Feb. 12-13, while the 80,000-ton cargoes are being fixed around W/S 150. Tamoil has fixed M/T «Iran Astaneh,» loading end Feb. Tunisia, discharging Italy, at W/S 152.5. – Caribs firmer, with Marathon having fixed M/T «Hamane Spirit» for 70,000 tons, loading Feb. 22 East Coast Mexico, discharging Ioop, at W/S 335. – In the Med., Tupras for 80,000 tons of cargo, loading Feb. 28 Novorossisk, discharging Turkey, has fixed M/T «Merapi» at W/S 125. – In the Cont., Stasco has fixed M/T «Album» for 80,000 tons of cargo, loading Feb. 25 Baltic Sea, discharging US Gulf, at W/S 230. – In W. Africa, Sun for 130,000 tons of cargo, loading March 10, discharging USAC, has fixed M/T «Cap Romuald» at W/S 187.5. – In Arabian Gulf, SPC for 270,000 tons of cargo, loading March 10-12, discharging Singapore, has fixed M/T «Front Duke» at W/S 162.5. DRY CARGO Capesize rates have dropped significantly on the Richards Bay / Rotterdam run, with brokers suggesting the next rate should be around USD 23.00. There is a distinct shortage of back-haul cargoes and several early ships are aggressively chasing cargoes. – Panamax rates have eased also in both areas, especially in the East. – In the Atlantic, there are not enough transatlantic cargoes being quoted, while market awaits the start of the plate season before any significant recovery. – On Panamaxes in Far East, Dreyfus has fixed M/V «Bandai,» 70,521 dwt, built 1998, delivery Japan Feb. 21-29, redelivery Far East, at USD 42,500 daily, while Taho has fixed M/V «Halo Cygnus,» 73,937 dwt, built 1998, delivery Feb. 25-27 Japan, trip via Australia, redelivery Taiwan, at USD 39,000 daily. – In the Atlantic, Pan Ocean has fixed M/V «Wadi Alrish,» 64,124 dwt, built 1994, delivery US Gulf Feb. 18-25, redelivery Far East, at USD 44,000 daily. – On smaller sizes, Oldendorff has fixed M/V «Kaity L,» 51,000 dwt, built 2003, delivery Chile mid-February, trip via Brazil, redelivery Far East, at USD 42,000 daily. – On coal cargoes, Swiss Marine has fixed M/V «Lowlands Sunrise» for 150,000 tons of cargo, loading S. Africa March 5-15, discharging Rotterdam, at USD 24.20 per ton with two-day load and 25,000 tons discharge.