Product Tankers Jump as Storm Seen Disrupting Trade at Platou

Rates for tankers hauling refined fuels jumped to more than a six-month high as superstorm Sandy disrupted shipping schedules, according to RS Platou Markets AS.

With power outages and refinery shutdowns curbing U.S. output and demand, traders are avoiding sending ships to the U.S. from Europe, Frode Moerkedal, an Oslo-based analyst at Platou, said in an e-mailed report today, citing unnamed brokers. About 6.1 million customers were without electricity as of Oct. 31, the Energy Department said.

Rates for oil-product tankers to northwest Europe from the U.S. Gulf jumped 18 percent yesterday, the most since at least March, to 100.63 industry-standard Worldscale points, according to the Baltic Exchange, the London-based publisher of shipping costs. That’s the highest since April 11, data show.

“Brokers said Hurricane Sandy has created havoc to vessel schedules and a tight tonnage situation in the U.S. Gulf underpinned the higher rates,” Moerkedal said in the report. “With substantial demand destruction on the U.S. East Coast, refiners and traders have been reluctant to send vessels into the area from Europe, brokers said.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Isaac Arnsdorf in London at iarnsdorf@bloomberg.net

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

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