Oil-Tanker Rates Rise for Fourth Session as Ship Surplus Shrinks
Thursday, 14 March 2013 | 00:00
Hire costs for the largest oil tankers on the industry’s busiest trade route rose for a fourth session as increased bookings of the ships reduced a surplus of available vessels.
Charter rates for very large crude carriers on the benchmark Saudi Arabia-to-Japan voyage gained 0.3 percent to 33.88 industry-standard Worldscale points, figures from the London-based Baltic Exchange showed today. That’s the highest level since Feb. 22.
Tanker charters in the Persian Gulf over the last two days reduced the vessel surplus by 12, according to an e-mailed report from Marex Spectron Group. The number of supertankers hired so far in March is five more than in all of February, when the monthly tally was the smallest since November 2010, Marex Spectron data show.
“There are probably five to 12 cargoes to go for March with 32 vessels available,” Kevin Sy, a Singapore-based freight-derivatives broker at Marex Spectron, said in the report. “Unless activity for the April program suddenly explodes today, rates will be steady to inching up.”
Daily losses for VLCCs on the benchmark route widened to $801 from $582 yesterday, exchange data showed. The tankers were losing $7,694 a day as of Feb. 14, this year’s worst return for owners. The ships, each able to hold 2 million barrels of crude, earned money in only four sessions of 2012’s third quarter on the journey.
Still, the exchange’s assessments fail to account for owners’ efforts to improve returns by securing cargoes for a voyage’s return leg or reducing speed to burn less fuel, known as slow-steaming. The price of fuel, or bunkers, the industry’s main expense, declined 0.4 percent to $627.77 a metric ton, figures compiled by Bloomberg from 25 ports showed.
The VLCC fleet’s total carrying capacity will rise 5.1 percent this year, near demand growth of 5.2 percent, according to data from Clarkson Plc (CKN), the world’s biggest shipbroker.
Oil-Tanker Rates Climb for Sixth Session on Demand Speculation Monday, 18 March 2013 | 00:00
Hire costs for the biggest oil tankers plying the industry’s busiest trade route climbed for a sixth session amid speculation more ships will be chartered to help meet summer-season demand.
Booking rates for very large crude carriers on the benchmark Saudi Arabia-to-Japan voyage rose 1 percent to 34.34 industry-standard Worldscale points, figures from the London- based Baltic Exchange showed today. Costs are the highest since Jan. 23, according to the data. The surplus of vessels available to load in the Persian Gulf over the next four weeks declined by seven to 77, according to data from Marex Spectron Group. That compares with 89 tankers at the start of the month, the figures showed. VLCCs outnumbered cargoes by 25 percent as of March 5, the most since Oct. 4, 2011, according to a Bloomberg News survey of shipbrokers.
“We see the potential for a short-term surge in activity for those starting to position for driving season/summer demand,” Erik Nikolai Stavseth, an analyst at Oslo-based investment bank Arctic Securities ASA, said in an e-mailed report today. Driving season denotes the period between the U.S. holidays of Memorial Day in late May and Labor Day in early September, when gasoline demand in the country tends to peak.
VLCCs are earning between $10,000 and $15,000 a day after adjusting for speed cuts intended to limit fuel use, known as slow-steaming, Stavseth said. Each of the tankers can hold 2 million barrels of oil.
The exchange’s assessments of VLCC earnings fail to account for slow-steaming or owners’ efforts to secure cargoes for a voyage’s return leg. The ships are earning $793 a day on the benchmark voyage, its data showed today, the first positive return since Jan. 23. Tankers were losing $7,694 daily on the route as of Feb. 14, this year’s low.
The price of fuel, or bunkers, the industry’s main expense, was little changed at $625