Thursday, May 27, 2010

Oil Tanker Rates Drop Most in 16 Months on Mediterranean Plunge

By Alaric Nightingale

(Bloomberg) -- Crude-oil tanker chartering rates fell the most in 16 months as lease rates for ships in the Mediterranean plunged.

The Baltic Dirty Tanker Index fell 4.9 percent to 975 points, the largest one-day drop since January 2009, according to data from the Baltic Exchange. The biggest drop was in rates for ships hauling 80,000-barrel cargoes in the Mediterranean, with a 22 percent retreat to 168.18 Worldscale points.

Charter rates on the industry benchmark Saudi Arabia-to- Japan route fell 0.3 percent to 68.67 Worldscale points, a seventh consecutive drop. Returns from the route fell 2.8 percent to $31,961 a day.

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.

Global rental income from 1 million-barrel carrying suezmaxes fell 8 percent to $34,775 a day. Aframaxes globally lost 17 percent to $25,586 a day.

--Editors: Stuart Wallace, Dan Weeks

To contact the reporter on this story: Alaric Nightingale in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stuart Wallace at

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