Oil Tanker Rates Seen by Gibson Jumping on Icier Winter Forecast

Rates for oil tankers in the Baltic and North seas may jump this winter on forecasts for harsher weather, increasing demand for Aframax ships able to sail through ice, according to E.A. Gibson Shipbrokers Ltd.

“The seasonal factors of poor weather, ice, fog and the resulting delays come together to cause havoc to vessels’ itineraries and hence restrict the volume of vessels available for trade, ultimately pushing up rates,” the London-based shipbroker said in an e-mailed report today. “If the winter is as bad as the weather fraternity predict we could see earnings skyrocket.”