TANKERS Delays in the Mediterranean are favoring freight levels. Eighty-thousand-ton cargoes out of the Black Sea are being negotiated at around W/S 225 while the normal cross cargoes in the Mediterranean area are fixed at W/S 170. – Stable conditions in the North Sea. Cross UKC cargoes of 80,000 tons are fixed at W/S 167.5, while in Caribs, 70,000-ton cargoes are fixed at W/S 240. The market has eased by at least W/S 100 points in this area. – Suezmaxes out of West Africa are seeing limited activity. Rates are under pressure as tonnage more than ample. February rates could soften from the mid-140s level. – VLCCs out of the same area at W/S 100 with destination USG and W/S 80 with destination East. Levels will be maintained as AG is showing a bit of strength. – Tianbao has fixed M/T «Aegiali» for 24,000 tons cargo, loading February 4, discharging China, at W/S 70, while Shell has fixed M/T «Starlight Venture» for 270,000 tons cargo, loading February 6, discharging Japan, at W/S 70. – Vela has fixed M/T «Front Falcon» for 280,000 tons cargo, loading February 3, discharging Red Sea, at W/S 79. – In the Mediterranean, Stasco has fixed M/T «Atlantic Hero» for 80,000 tons of cargo, loading February 1 Libya, discharging USG, at W/S 210. DRY CARGO Capesize market remains steady in the Atlantic but rates are easing in the East. – The Panamax market has not shown any sign of any real momentum so far. Atlantic and East are looking easier. – In the Atlantic, LME types are struggling to reach 40,000 daily for single round-voyages. – On Handymax, US Gulf market seems slightly nervous with insufficient inquiry. – Swiss Marine has fixed M/V «Aquabella,» 161,010 dwt, built 1995, delivery Qingdao January 13/14, for three to five months’ trading, redelivery worldwide, at USD 68,000 daily, while Transfield has fixed M/V «Carouge,» built 1992, delivery Japan January 21/23, via Australia, redelivery China, at USD 53,000 daily. – Daeyang has fixed M/V «Ming Equality,» 70,252 dwt, built 1996, delivery Pohang late January, via North Pacific, redelivery Singapore-Japan, at USD 37,000 daily, while Cargill has fixed M/V «Maja Vestida,» 70,213 dwt, built 1994, delivery Ghent late January, via US Gulf or EC South America, redelivery Skaw-Cape Passero, at 39,000 USD daily.