Persian Gulf Tanker Rates May Drop on Bookings Delay
The cost of shipping Middle East crude to Asia, the world's busiest route for supertankers, may drop as oil companies hold back cargoes and the supply of ships rises.
There are 85 very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, for hire through Nov. 22, Paris-based shipbroker Barry Rogliano Salles said in a report yesterday. Chartering officials who hire ships for refiners need to find about 82 for the whole of November.
GS Caltex Corp., South Korea's second-largest refiner, hired the tanker La Madrina for 87.5 Worldscale points, according to Oslo-based shipbroker SeaLeague AS.
That's little changed from the London-based Baltic Exchange's benchmark assessment of 87.03 points, based on Saudi Arabian shipments to Japan.
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 87.03 Worldscale equates to $50,007 in daily rental income after fuel and port costs are paid, according to the Baltic Exchange's calculations. Globally, the carriers are making $51,247 a day.
Frontline Ltd., the world's biggest operator of VLCCs, said Aug. 21 it needs $31,400 a day to break even on each of its supertankers.