Mid-East VLCC surplus halves.
The supply of supertankers competing for two million barrel shipments of Middle East crude more than halved as demand gained and owners sent empty vessels to West Africa for higher returns. There are 14 per cent more very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, for hire over the next 30 days than there are cargoes, according to the median estimate of four shipbrokers and two owners surveyed by Bloomberg News. A week ago, the surplus stood at 29 per cent. Sailing a ship empty is called ballasting.
'There was continued demand last week, especially from Chinese charterers,' Charlie Fowle, a director at London-based shipbroker Galbraith's Ltd, said by e-mail on Monday. Two ships travelled empty to West Africa to collect cargoes for shipment to Asia, removing the carriers from the Middle East, he said.
Rental income from the Saudi Arabia to Japan voyage, a route that's used to settle freight derivatives, gained 2.1 per cent to US$39,580 a day on Monday, according to data from the London-based Baltic Exchange. Before Monday, it climbed for three straight weeks.
Owners shipping West African crude oil to Asia can make US$30,135 a day more than they would for delivering consignments from the Middle East, according to data from New York-based shipbroker Poten & Partners.
Tanker charters are mostly negotiated on a round-trip basis. Sailing to China and back from West Africa takes about 57 days assuming a speed of 15 knots, according to data on the World-register.net website. A round trip to China from Saudi Arabia would require about 34 days.
Of the six respondents to the survey, five said that the supply of ships fell relative to their last estimates, while the sixth said that it remained unchanged.
Rental income from suezmaxes that ship one million barrel cargoes fell 3.1 per cent to US$29,995 a day.
Aframaxes that haul 650,000 barrels added 3.2 per cent to US$7,232 daily, their first gain in five sessions.