Scant supply of suitable tankers combined with a seasonal upswing in demand has conspired to force up the cost of shifting gasoline from Caribbean refineries to the U.S Atlantic coast, brokers said. "The market's definitely picking up from a month ago when refinery maintenance was still going on, and now it's coming up to the regular season," said a U.S. broker.
London brokers said the market had risen by at least W40, or $1.56 per ton, since last Wednesday.
"Not much has been done this week, but then there aren't many ships about either. There's not too many SBT ships about," said the U.S. broker.
SBT ships are a type of tanker in high demand because they are designed to offer more protection against accidental spillage than normal single-hulled tonnage.
The broker said most of the cargoes being moved at the moment were gasoline, but there was also some jet, pegging the 30,000-ton trade at W325 ($12.64 per ton) and the 40,000-ton trade at W265 ($10.31 per ton).
London's Baltic Exchange pegged
the benchmark 30,000-ton trade at W331 ($12.88 per ton) on Tuesday, while London broker SSY's estimate was over W340 ($13.23 per ton).
This represents an increase of $2.34 per ton in the last three weeks and an increase of $3.70 per ton in the last two months. London brokers said BP had paid $12.84 per ton to shift 30,000 tons of cargo upcoast this week on the Andoas, while Citgo had paid $10.11 to shift 40,000 tons of cargo upcoast next week on the Kriti Amethyst. - (Reuters)