Exxon Mobil Corp. booked two tankers to haul oil to the U.S. Gulf Coast via the Suez Canal in May at what may be this year’s lowest rates, a shipbroker told Bloomberg.com.
“The very large crude carriers, each able to haul 2 million barrels of oil, will load in the Persian Gulf on May 7, Athens- based Optima Shipbrokers Ltd. said in an e-mailed report today,” Bloomberg.com reported. “The ships were chartered at rates of 15.75 and 16 industry- standard Worldscale points, it said. Those would be the lowest levels so far in 2013 for the route, according to figures compiled by Bloomberg.”
Hire costs for tankers shipping crude from the Middle East to the Gulf Coast continue to drop and are now down 26% from the start of 2013.
Clarkson Plc (CKN) found VLCCs built in 2010 and carrying oil to the U.S. from the Middle East were losing $2,140 a week on average as of April 19, while the ships were earning $31,227 a year earlier.
Hire costs for VLCCs on the benchmark Saudi Arabia-to-Japan journey were little changed today, figures from the Baltic Exchange showed. The ships’ daily losses widened to $714 from $254 on April 19.
“The exchange’s assessments don’t account for owners’ efforts to improve returns by securing cargoes for return voyages or reducing speed to burn less fuel. The price of fuel, or bunkers, the industry’s main expense, fell 1.4% to $599.88 a metric ton today, figures compiled by Bloomberg from 25 ports showed.”
Bloomber.com also noted that the Baltic Dirty Tanker Index added 0.6% to 638, according to the exchange.