Monday, June 6, 2011

Supertanker earnings jump; owners 'bullish'

MANILA, Philippines — Earnings from shipping Middle East crude oil to Asia, the busiest route for supertankers, rose to the highest in almost two months as owners grew more confident they can charge higher rates.

Daily returns for very large crude carriers, known as VLCCs, from the benchmark Saudi Arabia-to-Japan voyage jumped 25 percent to $8,900 a day, data from the Baltic Exchange in London showed. That’s the highest since March 30. They have plunged 73 percent in the last 12 months.
VLCC owners have become “more bullish” and have been able to nudge rates higher for vessels out of the Middle-East Gulf, Frode Morkedal, an analyst with RS Platou Markets AS in Oslo, wrote in an e-mailed note before today’s data were released.
Rates for VLCCs on the benchmark route gained 1.9 percent in industry-standard Worldscale terms at 51.65 points today, according to the exchange. The points are a percentage of a nominal or flat rate, for more than 320,000

specific routes. Flat rates for every voyage, quoted in U.S. dollars a metric ton, are revised annually by the Worldscale Association in London to reflect changing fuel costs, port tariffs and exchange rates.

Daily returns from suezmax tankers that haul 1 million- barrel cargoes, half as much as VLCCs, rose 3.5 percent to $14,120. Returns from aframaxes, which carry 650,000 barrels, decreased 4.9 percent to $9,469.

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