Persian Gulf Tanker Rates May Gain on Chinese Return, Cargoes
The cost of shipping Middle East crude to Asia may advance next week, with demand bolstered by the return of Chinese traders from holidays and the first bookings for November cargoes.
Markets in China, the second-largest energy consumer, are closed for National Day holidays, reopening Oct. 6. Refineries normally hire very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, three to four weeks in advance, meaning the first November cargoes should appear next week.
S. Oil Corp., South Korea's third-largest refinery, hired the tanker Maersk Neptune for 139 Worldscale points, according to a report today from Paris-based Barry Rogliano Salles. That's 1 percent below the London-based Baltic Exchange's benchmark assessment of 140.5 points for cargoes to Asia.
Refineries need to hire about 15 more VLCCs to load in October, according to a report yesterday from Barry Rogliano Salles. There are 51 available vessels that can get to the Middle East by the end of the month.
Worldscale points are a percentage of a nominal rate, or flat rate, for more than 320,000 specific routes. Flat rates for every voyage, quoted in U.S. dollars a ton, are revised annually by the Worldscale Association in London to reflect changing fuel costs, port tariffs and exchange rates.
Each flat rate assessment gives owners and oil companies a starting point for negotiating hire rates without having to calculate the value of each deal from scratch.
A rate of 140.5 Worldscale points equates to $91,217 in daily rental income after fuel and port costs are paid, according to the Baltic Exchange's calculations.
Globally, the carriers are making $79,303 a day.
Frontline Ltd., the world's biggest operator of VLCCs, said Aug. 21 it needs $31,400 a day to break even on each of its supertankers.