TANKERS Med. quite active with a number of cargoes quoted mainly out of Black Sea and Syria. Rates on modern tonnage at W/S 105 with Minerva having succeeded with W/S 110 from Vitol on March 8-9 loading dates. – Continent more active from March 6-8. Rates now appear to be firm around W/S 97.5. The offers tendered for transatlantic business would suggest that there are few ships willing to go in that direction from early February dates. – Caribs stable, while Suezmax market out of W. Africa seems to be firming up. – In the Med., Saras for 80,000 tons of cargo loading March 8 Libya, discharging Italy, has fixed M/T «Wilmington» at W/S 90. – In the Continent, BP for 80,000 tons of cargo loading Feb. 28 for UKC round voyage has fixed M/T «Navion Scotia» at W/S 97.5. – In Caribs, Exxon has fixed M/T «Sea Charm» for 70,000 tons of cargo loading March 2 East Coast Mexico, discharging US Gulf, at W/S 100. – In W. Africa, Sun for 130,000 tons of cargo loading March 16, discharging USAC, has fixed M/T «Arteaga» at W/S 65. DRY CARGO Another healthy gain for Capers with their index moving again upward by 11 points. – Atlantic on Panamaxes remains active as compared to the outlook in the Far East despite the fact that a number of T/C short periods have been concluded. – The owner who failed on subs for 4-6 months last Friday at USD 8,000 daily has succeeded in fixing vessels at USD 8,350 daily for same period. – In the Atlantic, there is also good reason to believe that better times are ahead for Handysize tonnage. US Gulf / Italy is worth close to USD 8,000 daily. Freight levels also are moving upward for Cuban sugar cargoes to the Black Sea / Baltic. – On Panamax in Far East, Samsun has fixed M/V «Oceanic Star» 76,000 dwt, built 2002, delivery beg. March Japan, redelivery S. Korea, at USD 7,000 daily. – In Atlantic, Oak has fixed M/V «Sunny Ocean» 68,621 dwt, built 1994, delivery March 1-5 Italy for 3-5 months period at USD 7,600 daily. The Italian government announced its new proposals at the end of 2001, which provide for withholding 7 percent of each worker’s salary and putting it into private pension schemes.