Thursday, June 28, 2007

Asian Aframax Rate Drops First Time in 6 Days

Asian Aframax Tanker Shipping Rate Drops First Time in Six Days
By Katherine Espina
June 27 (Bloomberg)

The cost of shipping 80,000 metric tons of oil on Asian routes dropped the first time in six days as most bookings for early July have been concluded. Further declines may be limited as freights for the rest of the month are fixed.

The rate of shipping crude or fuel oil on so-called Aframax tankers to Singapore from Kuwait dropped 0.13 percent to Worldscale 154.42 yesterday, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. Last week, it rose the most since March 30.

Asian freight rates for shipping oil on Aframax tankers increased 6 percent last week as charterers hired vessels to load fuel, brokers including London-based Galbraith's Ltd. said. Some owners of Aframax vessels expect rates to rise after vessel requirements for early next month have been fixed, Kats Nishikawa at shipbroker Matsui & Co. in Tokyo said.

``A number of fixtures have been concluded throughout the week and there are still plenty lined up,'' said Galbraith's in its report for the week ended June 22. ``This firmer trend looks set to continue next week.''

This week, four Aframax tankers are expected to arrive in Singapore and three more in the first week of July, according to AISLive on Bloomberg.

The Baltic Dirty Tanker Index, which tracks 12 routes, has fallen 21 percent this year. It fell 1.1 percent to 1041 yesterday, the second day the measure fell. The cost of shipping a barrel of oil on an Aframax vessel on the Kuwait-to-Singapore route stood at $2.01 yesterday, unchanged for a second day, according to Bloomberg data.

Indonesia, Japan Route

The Aframax tanker rate on the Indonesia-to-Japan route was steady at Worldscale 157.50 on June 22, the daily cost for the past 17 days, according to Bloomberg data. Shipping a barrel of oil on the route amounts to $1.84, little changed in the past three weeks, according to Bloomberg data.

The costs of shipping gasoline and other so-called clean petroleum products to Asia were mostly lower yesterday, according to the Baltic Exchange.

Shipping rate for 55,000 tons of products on the route to Japan from the Middle East dropped 0.9 percent to a four-month low of Worldscale 155.77, based on data from the Baltic Exchange. The rate has fallen 22 percent in the past 21 days.

The cost of carrying 75,000 tons of gasoline, naphtha or jet fuel from Singapore to Japan declined for a 12th day. The rate dropped 3.2 percent to Worldscale 124.17, the biggest drop since Jan. 23, Baltic Exchange data showed. The cost of shipping on the route fell 5 percent last week, the most in 11 weeks.

The rate of shipping 30,000 tons of oil products from Singapore to Japan rose 0.3 percent to Worldscale 198.96 yesterday, a second day of gains. It has slumped 33 percent this year.

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