Oil-Tanker Glut Shrinks to February Low, According to Survey

A surplus of the largest oil tankers competing to load crude at Persian Gulf ports shrank to this month’s lowest level, a survey showed.

There are 9 percent more very large crude carriers available for hire over the next 30 days than there are likely cargoes, according to a Bloomberg survey of six shipbrokers and owners today. That was the smallest excess since Jan. 31.

The VLCC surplus reached a 14-month low of 5 percent on Jan. 17, helped by stronger crude demand before China’s New Year. The ships are earning $15,906 daily on the benchmark Saudi Arabia-to-Japan voyage, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. That’s a decline of 29 percent from Jan. 17, its figures show.

“March cargoes are behind schedule, so activity is expected to pick up this week,” Oslo-based investment bank RS Platou Markets AS said in an e-mailed report today.

Charter rates for VLCCs, each able to haul 2 million barrels of crude, on the benchmark route rose for an eighth session yesterday to 54.65 Worldscale points.

The points are a percentage of a nominal rate, or flat rate, for more than 320,000 specific routes. Flat rates for every voyage, quoted in U.S. dollars a metric ton, are revised annually by the Worldscale Association in London to reflect changing fuel costs, port tariffs and exchange rates.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Sheridan in London at rsheridan6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net

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