Mid-East tanker supply falls on demand, delays.
The supply of supertankers waiting to collect two million barrel cargoes of Middle East crude oil shrank on stronger demand to ship consignments west and mounting delays at Chinese ports. There are 8.8 per cent more very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, for hire than there are likely cargoes over the next 30 days. The surplus was 10 per cent last week.
Supply 'remains on the tight side, exacerbated by weather-related delays in China', Oslo-based shipbroker PF Bassoe A/S said in a Jan 27 report. There has been 'renewed interest in moving cargoes west, a trade which has been in virtual hibernation during the past year', it said.
Rental income from the industry's benchmark Saudi Arabia-to-Japan route fell 7.9 per cent to US$74,003 a day on Monday, erasing last week's 7.4 per cent advance, according to the London- based Baltic Exchange. In industry standard Worldscale terms, charter rates slid 5.3 per cent to 111.09 points, according to the exchange.
Of the six respondents to the survey, three said that supply shrank relative to demand, two said that it stayed the same, and one said that it expanded.
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 US dollars a tonne, 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.
Frontline Ltd, the biggest operator of VLCCs, needs US$32,900 a day to break even on each of its supertankers once interest repayments are taken into account.
Daily rental income from suezmax tankers designed to haul one million barrel cargoes, half as much as a VLCC, dropped 18 per cent to US$23,392. The decline was the ninth in a row. Rates have plunged by almost two-thirds since Jan 19.
Aframaxes that carry 650,000 barrels lost 6.5 per cent to US$16,150 a day, the seventh straight retreat.