Europe-U.S. Gasoline Cargoes to Reach 7-Week Low, Survey Shows

Gasoline shipments to the U.S. from Europe are poised to fall to a seven-week low as the number of available tankers rises, a Bloomberg News survey showed.

Traders and oil companies booked 11 ships for the two weeks to March 15 and nine more are likely to be hired, according to the median estimate in a survey yesterday of nine shipbrokers, traders and owners who specialize in shipping the auto fuel. That’s the fewest since the two weeks from Jan. 12.

Tankers carrying gasoline on the Rotterdam-to-New York trade route are earning $15,594 a day, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. Returns declined for a fourth day yesterday and are down 25 percent since the start of the year. The supply of tankers available to carry trans-Atlantic gasoline cargoes increased by one to 29 vessels, the biggest tally for the voyage in two weeks, according to the survey.

The ships, known as medium-range tankers, would be able to haul about 6.3 million barrels of the fuel, or 449,000 barrels a day, over the next two weeks. That’s 58 percent of the 780,000 barrels the U.S. imported daily over the past year, according to the Department of Energy.

The survey is based on so-called single-voyage, or spot, charters and excludes loadings under longer-term contracts. It assumes shipments to the U.S. East Coast from northwestern Europe. Each tanker would normally haul about 37,000 metric tons of gasoline, or 315,000 barrels.

Following is a table of ships chartered and likely to be hired for the trans-Atlantic voyage loading over the two-week periods from the dates shown. The table also displays the number of ships available to be booked.

*T March 1 Feb. 23 Change Ships Hired 11 18 -39% Ships Likely to be Hired 9 10 -10% Total 20 28 -29% Available Ships 29 28 +3.6% *T

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