Monday, July 16, 2007

Asian Aframax Rates May Extend Decline

Asian Aframax Rates May Extend Decline Before August Bookings
By Katherine Espina
July 16 (Bloomberg)

The rate for shipping fuel on tankers that can carry between 80,000 metric tons and 120,000 tons on Asian routes may extend a decline until refiners and traders increase vessel bookings for August.

The cost of shipping 80,000 tons of crude oil on so-called aframax tankers to Singapore from Kuwait dropped 0.6 percent to Worldscale 135.58 on July 13, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. It fell for a third week, losing 5.2 percent in the week ended July 13.

``July liftings are nearly finished but we have not seen any August loading cargoes yet,'' said London-based shipbroker Galbraith's Ltd. in its weekly report. ``Until August liftings start actively, the trend looks to remain the same at present.''

Aframax tanker rate has fallen 9 percent on the Kuwait- Singapore route so far this month on shrinking cargo volume. Six ships, with a total capacity of 605,880 tons, are expected to sail to Singapore this week, according to AISLive data on Bloomberg. That compares with five arrivals in the week ended July 15.

The cost of shipping a barrel of oil on an aframax vessel on the Kuwait-to-Singapore route was unchanged for a second day at $1.94 on July 13, according to Bloomberg data.

Aframax vessels, which can typically carry 600,000 barrels of crude oil, are predominantly deployed on short-haul routes or intra-regional trade. The aframax tanker is among the preferred vessels by non-Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in recent years as the harbors and canals that these nations use to export their oil are too small to accommodate supertankers.


The aframax tanker rate on the Indonesia-to-Japan route was steady for a fourth day at Worldscale 145 on July 13, according to Bloomberg data. Shipping a barrel of oil on the route costs $1.70, unchanged from July 10.

The cost of shipping gasoline and other so-called clean petroleum products to Asia on medium-to-large range tankers rose on July 13, according to the Baltic Exchange.

The rate of shipping 55,000 tons of oil products to Japan from the Middle East surged 1.9 percent to Worldscale 193.65 on July 13. It rose 8.7 percent in the week ended July 13, the second week of gains, based on data from the Baltic Exchange.

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