The supply of supertankers competing to haul cargoes of Middle East crude oil shrank as falling rates spurred demand for them.
There are about 6 per cent more very large crude carriers (VLCCs) available than cargoes to haul for over 30 days, according to a survey.
The "low rate levels have triggered some bargain-hunting among charterers," an Oslo-based shipbroker said in a report. "March often means the onset of the slow season for VLCC activity, so much depends on how quickly Chinese activity revives after their New Year."
Rental income from shipping Saudi Arabian crude to Japan, the industry’s benchmark route, dropped by 57 per cent this month to $34,867 a day, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. That compares with the $32,900 that Frontline Ltd, the biggest operator of the vessels, says it needs to break even on them.
Charter rates for VLCCs rose by 9.7 per cent to 74.56 Worldscale points on February 8 on the Saudi Arabia-to-Japan route, the Baltic Exchange said.
Source: Exim News Service