Friday, June 22, 2007

Asian Aframax Ship Rate Gains

Asian Aframax Ship Rate Gains May Be Limited on Rising Supply
By Katherine Espina
June 21 (Bloomberg)

Gains in the cost of shipping 80,000 metric tons of oil on Asian routes may be curbed in the next several days as the supply of tankers increases, brokers including Matsui & Co. said.

The rate of shipping crude or fuel oil on so-called Aframax tankers to Singapore from Kuwait climbed for a second day, gaining 1.7 percent to 148.27 yesterday, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. Shipment cost on the route fell 1.2 percent in the week ended June 15, the first decline in three weeks.

``There will be many vessels available in the Singapore area in the early part of July so the market may stay the same or even move lower,'' Kats Nishikawa, general manager at the chartering team of Matsui & Co. in Tokyo, said by phone. ``Unless we see more activity in the Singapore area, the market may be softer.''

This month, there are 12 Aframax tankers sailing to Singapore, according to AISLive on Bloomberg. The cost of shipping crude on Aframax vessels to Asian routes has declined 7.4 percent this year as capacity expanded.

The Baltic Dirty Tanker Index, which tracks 12 routes, has fallen 19 percent this year. The cost of shipping a barrel of oil on an Aframax vessel on the Kuwait-to-Singapore route stood at $1.97 as of June 20, unchanged for the previous 19 days, according to Bloomberg data.

Japan Bound

The Aframax tanker rate on the Indonesia-to-Japan route was steady at Worldscale 157.50, the daily cost for the past 12 days, according to Bloomberg data. Shipping a barrel of oil on the route amounts to $1.84, steady for the past two weeks, according to Bloomberg data.

The cost of shipping gasoline and other so-called clean petroleum products to Asia declined yesterday, according to the Baltic Exchange.

The cost of shipping 30,000 tons of oil products from Singapore to Japan fell 0.6 percent to Worldscale 200.42 yesterday, the lowest in eight weeks. It has slumped 20 percent the past four weeks, based on data from the Baltic Exchange.

Shipping costs for 55,000 tons of products on the route to Japan from the Middle East dropped 2.2 percent to Worldscale 161.92, the lowest since Feb. 15. The rate has fallen 17 straight days.

The cost of carrying 75,000 tons of gasoline, naphtha or jet fuel from Singapore to Japan declined for an eighth day. The rate dropped 1.5 percent to Worldscale 131.46 yesterday, the lowest in four months, Baltic Exchange data showed. The cost of shipping on the route fell 3.2 percent last week, the second weekly decline.

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