Indian Refinery Exports Seen Lifting Demand for Biggest Tankers

Demand for the biggest tankers hauling oil products will gain 15 percent this year as shipments advance on the longest trade routes to the U.S. from India and to Asia from the Middle East, said Clarkson Plc.

Demand for so-called Long Range Two tankers that ship as much as 90,000 metric tons of cargoes including jet fuel and gasoline will rise to 33.3 million deadweight tons of capacity this year from 28.9 million tons in 2012, the world’s largest shipbroker said in a monthly report published on its website today. Demand for Long-Range One tankers, carrying as much as 60,000 tons, will expand 15 percent to 15.4 million tons.

“The increases in volumes on long-haul trades from the Middle East Gulf to the Far East and from India to the U.S. are projected to boost demand in these sectors,” the London-based shipbroker said. Demand for vessels carrying as much as 47,000 tons of cargo will contract 4.6 percent to 50.8 million tons, it estimated.

Earnings for product tankers will recover this year as refined oils are carried over longer distances and fleet growth stagnates, Evercore LLP, the New York investment bank said in a Jan. 17 report as it upgraded rates estimates for the ships.

Long Range tankers reported as booked to haul refined oil products from India to the U.S. climbed to 68 in 2012, from 48 the prior year, data from shipbrokers compiled by Bloomberg show. In 2010, 12 were booked on the same route, the data show. Not all bookings are reported to the market.

Total demand for the world’s 2,173 product tankers will rise 4.2 percent to 99.5 million deadweight tons in 2013, while the fleet will expand 3.6 percent to 117.1 million tons, Clarkson estimated. There are 242 Long Range Two product tankers and 318 Long Range One vessels, less than half the fleet of 1,281 so-called Medium Range tankers, the most frequently used for refined-oil transport, according to the shipbroker.

Seaborne product shipments totaled 823.9 million tons in 2011 and are projected to rise to 902 million tons by 2015, the research division of DVB Bank SE, a German transport lender, said in a report in September.

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