Aframax Tanker Booked at Record US-Europe Rate

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

December 26, 2019

© Hannes van Rijn / MarineTraffic.com

© Hannes van Rijn / MarineTraffic.com

PetroChina has provisionally chartered an Aframax tanker at a record U.S.-Europe freight rate, two shipbrokers said on Tuesday, reflecting strong demand for low-sulfur U.S. crude.

The Chinese oil firm tentatively chartered the Aframax-class Seamagic for 300 worldscale points, loading in the U.S. Gulf Coast. The vessel currently is moored near Pascagoula, Mississippi, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

The rate translates to about $100,000 per day, one of the shipbrokers said, surpassing the previous peak of 245 worldscale points, or about $60,700 per day, last week. The broker said the crude is estimated to load by Jan. 4.

PetroChina did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

U.S. crude exports could touch 4 million barrels per day for the first time in coming months, traders, analysts and shipbrokers said, as U.S. production nears a record 13 million bpd.

International demand for light, sweet U.S. crude has risen ahead of new maritime requirements capping sulfur content in fuels used by ocean-going vessels that takes effect Jan. 1.

Tanker rates have climbed on a shortfall in available vessels following U.S. sanctions on a Chinese oil shipping giant and on traders offloading crude ahead of year-end inventory taxes, shipbrokers said.


(Reporting by Collin Eaton in Houston and Devika Krishna Kumar; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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