Persian Gulf Oil-Tanker Surplus Seen as Stable in Survey

A glut of the largest oil tankers in the Persian Gulf is poised to remain unchanged from a week earlier, a Bloomberg News survey showed.

There are 20 percent more very large crude carriers for hire over the next 30 days than there are likely cargoes, the median estimate in a survey of six shipbrokers and owners today showed. That’s the same as on April 9, according to previous survey data. Each vessel can hold 2 million barrels of oil.

VLCCs on the Saudi Arabia-to-Japan voyage, the benchmark route for supertankers sailing to Asia, are losing $3,409 daily, figures from the Baltic Exchange in London showed yesterday. The ships lost money on the journey for seven weeks through March 14, according to exchange data. The VLCC fleet’s total carrying capacity will rise 5.1 percent this year, above demand growth of 4.9 percent, according to Clarkson Plc, the biggest shipbroker.

The exchange’s assessments don’t reflect speed cuts aimed at reducing fuel costs, the main expense for owners, who can boost returns by slowing tankers on return journeys after unloading cargoes. The price of fuel, or bunkers, slid 0.6 percent to $620.76 a metric ton yesterday, data compiled by Bloomberg from 25 ports showed.

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