The cost of delivering Middle East crude to Asia may decline for a 10th consecutive trading sessions because of a lack of cargo.
The cost of delivering Middle East crude to Asia, the world"s busiest route for supertankers, may decline for a 10th consecutive trading sessions because of a lack of cargo. Global oil demand fell last year, the first drop in a quarter century, as Japan, Europe and the U.S. fell into simultaneous recessions. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will cut crude-oil shipments by 1.7 percent in the month ending March 14, tanker-tracker Oil Movements said yesterday. OPEC produces about 40 percent of the world"s oil.
?There are more ships fighting for each cargo,? Halvor Ellefsen, an Oslo-based tanker broker at SeaLeague AS, said by e- mail today. A ?long spell of "non-activity" makes owners nervous.?
The London-based Baltic Exchange"s benchmark rate for Saudi Arabian crude consignments to Japan fell 1.8 percent to 47.16 Worldscale points yesterday.
A rate of 47.16 points works out at $41,132 a day, according to the Baltic Exchange. That compares with the $34,700 that Frontline Ltd., the largest owner of the vessels, has said it needs to break even on one of its supertankers.
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.
The amount of oil stored in tankers at sea is likely to shrink because global crude inventories may have peaked, Barclays Capital said.
?The U.S. inventory situation has stabilized over the past four weeks, providing an early indication of a more global trend,? analysts led by Paul Horsnell said in the bank"s Weekly Oil Data review yesterday. ?We expect floating storage to continue to be reduced with the new initiative to hold such storage being curtailed.?