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Oil-Tanker Surplus in Persian Gulf Seen Smallest in Two Weeks

The surplus of tankers competing to ship 2 million-barrel oil cargoes from ports in the Persian Gulf fell to a two-week low, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

There are 15 percent more very large crude carriers seeking charters over the next 30 days than probable shipments from the world’s largest cargo-loading region, the median in the survey of four shipbrokers and two owners showed today. The glut was the lowest since June 4 and compared with 18 percent last week.

The VLCC fleet’s capacity expanded 39 percent in the past five years, according to data from IHS Fairplay, a Redhill, England-based maritime-research company. Seaborne crude-oil imports will average 38.4 million barrels a day this year, 0.5 percent more than in 2008, according to Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker.

Freight rates for VLCCs on the benchmark route to Asia from the Middle East slumped 1.4 percent yesterday to 41.75 industry-standard Worldscale points, according to figures from the Baltic Exchange in London. That equated to daily earnings of $15,016, the lowest since June 12, the data showed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Sheridan in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at

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