Aframax Tanker Booked at Record US-Europe Rate
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)