Europe-U.S. Gasoline Cargoes Seen Surging in Broker Survey

Oil traders boosted the number of tankers they booked to ship European gasoline to the U.S. in the past week, according to a survey of shipbrokers.

They already hired or plan to hire 33 Medium Range tankers on the industry’s benchmark Rotterdam-to-New York trade route for loading in the next two weeks, according to a survey of four shipbrokers and one trader yesterday and today. That compares with 21 charters in the corresponding survey on April 30.

U.S. gasoline imports averaged 591,000 barrels a day so far in 2013, the lowest for the time of year in at least a decade, Energy Department data show. Inventories are 215 million barrels, the highest for the time of year since 2010.

Of the 33 charters, 22 have been completed and 11 are anticipated, according to the respondents. Ship bookings often contain clauses allowing vessels to sail to different ports. There are 39 tankers available for the trade, compared with 33 in the April 30 survey. Each vessel would normally carry about 38,000 metric tons of cargo.

Hire costs on the trade route jumped 14 percent to 167.92 Worldscale points, according to figures from the Baltic Exchange in London. Earnings for the vessels surged 33 percent to $19,410 a day, according to the bourse’s calculations.

*T May 7/8 April 30 Ships Hired 22 15 Expected Charters 11 6 Total Hired 33 21 Available Ships, Europe-U.S. 39 33 *T

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.