Crude Oil-Tanker Glut Smallest Since January in Persian Gulf

A surplus of the largest oil tankers seeking cargoes in the Persian Gulf averaged the lowest since January this month, according to surveys of supply and demand by Bloomberg.

There were 20 percent more very large crude carriers for hire over a 30-day period than cargoes throughout the month, surveys of shipbrokers and owners show. That was also the excess this week, according to the average of six estimates today.

Crude shipments by sea will rise 2.2 percent this year, Morgan Stanley said in a report yesterday, cutting a prior estimate for 2.9 percent growth. Shipping demand will expand 3.3 percent, the bank said, less than the previous 3.9 percent projection. The global tanker fleet will swell 4.4 percent, spurred by 5 percent growth in VLCC capacity.

“Tonnage is well supplied for now,” Kevin Sy, a Singapore-based freight-derivatives broker at Marex Spectron Group, said in an e-mailed report today, referring to the immediate supply of vessels in the Persian Gulf.

Costs measured in industry-standard Worldscale terms rose 2.8 percent to 33.38 points today, according to the Baltic Exchange in London. VLCCs are earning $603 a day before paying operating costs including crew, insurance and repairs, according to the bourse. The earnings assessment doesn’t take into account that ships cut speeds to lower fuel consumption and boost returns.

The biggest movement in crude-oil freight costs today was for the Persian Gulf-to-Singapore voyage, which climbed 4.1 percent to 34.39 Worldscale, according to the exchange. Rates for vessels hauling 38,000 metric tons of diesel fell 1.4 percent to 75.36 Worldscale, the largest change among so-called clean tankers that transport refined fuels.

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