Rising demand will supply of ships and owners are becoming more confident
The cost of shipping Middle East crude oil to Asia, the world's busiest route for supertankers, may snap a nine-day decline as more October cargoes emerge.`
`Cargoes are starting to come out,'' Nikos Varvaropoulos, an official at Optima Shipbrokers in Athens, said in an e-mailed note yesterday.
Rising demand will more than offset a ``very healthy'' supply of ships and owners are becoming more confident they can negotiate higher rates, he said.
Oil companies already hired 21 out of about 105 very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, they need to load in October, according to a report today from Paris-based shipbroker Barry Rogliano Salles. Sixty-six VLCCs are available and can get to the region within the next 30 days, it said.
SK Energy Co., South Korea's largest refiner, hired the tanker Asian Progress II to load a cargo on Oct. 3 for 100 Worldscale points, according to Barry Rogliano. That's 5.3 percent above the London-based Baltic Exchange's benchmark rate of 95.08 points for cargoes to Asia.
The Baltic Exchange's daily price assessments will be used to settle $150 billion of freight derivatives contracts this year, estimates SSY Futures Ltd., a unit of the world's second- largest shipbroker.
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 95.08 Worldscale points gives VLCC owners a daily income of $47,718 once fuel and port fees are paid. Frontline Ltd., the world's biggest VLCC operator, said Aug. 21 it needs $31,400 a day to break even on each of its supertankers.