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Oil-Tanker Earnings Advance on Benchmark Trade Route to Asia

Returns rose for the largest oil tankers carrying Middle East crude to Asia, the industry’s benchmark trade route, according to the Baltic Exchange.

Daily earnings for very large crude carriers on the Saudi Arabia-to-Japan voyage gained 0.6 percent to $27,762, figures from the London-based exchange showed today. Earnings reached the highest level since May on Nov. 20, lifted by stronger demand for crude as winter approaches. Each of the ships can haul 2 million barrels of oil.

Charter costs for VLCCs on the benchmark voyage declined 0.5 percent to 55.29 industry-standard Worldscale points, according to the exchange.

The Worldscale system is a method for pricing oil cargoes on thousands of trade routes. Each individual voyage’s flat rate, expressed in dollars a ton, is set once a year. Today’s level means hire costs on the benchmark route are 55.29 percent of the nominal Worldscale rate for that voyage.

The Baltic Dirty Tanker Index, a broader measure of oil- shipping costs that includes vessels smaller than VLCCs, fell 0.3 percent to 723, according to the exchange.

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