Gasoline-Tanker Rates Average Highest Since 2011 as Demand Gains

Rates for gasoline tankers shipping the automotive fuel to the U.S. from Europe averaged the highest in 21 months this week as demand climbed on the benchmark route.

Earnings for Medium Range product tankers carrying 37,000 metric tons of gasoline to New York from Rotterdam averaged $21,717 dollars a day for the week ended Jan. 11, Baltic Exchange data show. That was the highest since April 2011. They slid 6.8 percent to $20,860 today, halting six consecutive days of gains.

While strengthening demand drove up freight costs this week, that may not continue because it’s now unprofitable for traders to ship the fuel to the U.S. from Europe, London-based E.A. Gibson Shipbrokers Ltd. said in an e-mailed note today. Earnings jumped late last year because of rising demand for shipments to West Africa, it said.

“The general sentiment is that MR earnings in the West are likely to remain extremely volatile, but with some spectacular periods of high earnings,” Gibson said.

Earnings for Medium Range tankers on the route for a spot charter were $22,370 a day yesterday, the highest since Sept. 30, 2008, according to the exchange. The rate is derived from a formula using the Worldscale, an industry formula to price payment for voyages on tankers to and from different destinations. Costs using that measure fell 3 percent today to 177.08 points.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michelle Wiese Bockmann in London at mwiesebockma@bloomberg.net

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

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