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Mideast Oil-Tankers Bookings Reach This Year’s High, Marex Says

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March 30 (Bloomberg) -- Weekly bookings of the largest oil tankers to load cargoes of Persian Gulf crude reached this year’s highest level, according to Marex Spectron Group.

Forty-one very large crude carriers were hired so far this week, exceeding the prior high of 39 in the week before China’s Lunar New Year holiday, Kevin Sy, a Singapore-based freight-derivatives broker at Marex Spectron, said in an e-mailed report today. The last business day before the week-long holiday was Jan. 20.

VLCCs on the industry’s benchmark Saudi Arabia-to-Japan trade route are earning $36,653 a day, a 13-month high, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. Returns have almost tripled since the start of the year. Iranian output is “at risk of coming off line,” potentially disrupting supply and supporting higher freight rates, U.S. investment bank Dahlman Rose & Co. said this week.

“The week isn’t even over yet,” said Sy. “The supply-demand situation continues to favor owners, as there are still eight or so cargoes to go until April 20.”

The highest weekly tally of VLCCs hired last year was 45, reached twice in November, Sy said. Each of the ships can hold 2 million barrels of oil.

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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