Persian Gulf Tanker Rates Rise on Anticipated Stronger Demand
The cost of delivering Middle East crude to Asia, the world"s busiest route for supertankers, gained for the first time in four days as owners anticipated strengthening demand. Charter rates for very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, on the industry benchmark Saudi Arabia-to-Japan route climbed 0.2 percent to 96.89 Worldscale points. Returns from the voyage added $5 to $56,849 a day.
?A very much busier period will develop? next week, once oil companies start seeking the ships they need for May loadings, London-based E.A. Gibson Shipbrokers Ltd. said in an e-mailed report today.
The supply of ships may be further eroded by the fact that Iran, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries" second- biggest crude producer, is storing cargoes. The country has vessels storing 30 million barrels, meaning the ships are unavailable to ship consignments, ICAP Shipping International Ltd. said in a report.
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.
Daily returns from suezmax tankers that haul 1 million- barrel cargoes, half as much as a VLCC, fell 0.2 percent to $21,372, according to the Baltic Exchange. Aframaxes that carry 650,000 barrels jumped 12 percent to $14,102 a day.