Thursday, July 26, 2007

Asian Aframax Rate Gain May Be Limited

Asian Aframax Rate Gain May Be Limited by Rising Ship Supply
By Katherine Espina
July 26 (Bloomberg)

The rate for shipping oil on tankers that can carry 80,000 metric tons on Asian routes posted the smallest increase in six days and any gain may be limited by the increased availability of ships for hire.

The rate for the Kuwait-to-Singapore route climbed 0.14 percent to Worldscale 132.50 yesterday, according to data from the London-based Baltic Exchange. That puts the cost of shipping a barrel of oil at $1.78, Bloomberg data showed.

``The rates may soften with a lot of vessels out there,'' said Takeshi Ando, a shipbroker at Matsui & Co.'s tanker team said by phone today from Tokyo. ``I don't see a lot of activity from the Koreans.''

Sixteen ships, with a total capacity of 1.61 million tons, will sail to Singapore this month, four of them this week, according to AISLive data on Bloomberg.

Aframax vessels, which can typically carry 600,000 barrels of crude oil, are predominantly deployed on short-haul routes or intra-regional trade.

The cost of moving 80,000 tons of oil to Japan from Indonesia was at Worldscale 140 yesterday, unchanged since July 19, according to data from London-based shipbroker Galbraith's Ltd. That puts the cost of shipping a barrel of oil on the route at $1.64.

The rates of shipping gasoline, diesel and other oil products rose yesterday. The rate of shipping 30,000 tons of oil products to Japan from Singapore gained 0.3 percent to Worldscale 242.50, according to the Baltic Exchange. The cost of moving 55,000 tons of products to Japan from the Middle East climbed 0.6 percent to Worldscale 194.50.

Shipping 75,000 tons of oil product costs 0.7 percent more at Worldscale 142.29 yesterday, based on Baltic Exchange data.

Worldscale points are a percentage of a nominal, or flat, rate for a route. Flat rates, 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.

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