Mideast Oil-Tanker Surplus Seen in Survey Reaching Six-Week Low

A surplus of the largest oil tankers available for loading in the Middle East is poised to reach a six-week low, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

There are 15 percent more very large crude carriers for hire over the next 30 days than there are cargoes, the median estimate of seven shipbrokers and owners showed today. That’s the smallest excess since Nov. 27, according to prior figures. No surveys were carried out for the weeks including Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

VLCCs are earning $15,592 a day on the benchmark Middle East-to-Asia voyage, down 5.6 percent from the start of the year, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. Each of the ships can hold 2 million barrels of crude.

The exchange’s assessments don’t reflect speed cuts aimed at reducing fuel costs, the biggest expense for owners, who can boost returns by slowing tankers on return journeys after unloading cargoes. The cost of marine fuel was unchanged for a second session today at $620.65 a metric ton, data compiled by Bloomberg from 25 ports showed.

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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