Europe-U.S. Gasoline-Cargo Flow Seen Gaining in Broker Survey

The number of gasoline cargoes booked for shipment to the U.S. from Europe is poised to climb during the next two weeks, a Bloomberg News survey showed.

Traders will charter a total of 22 Medium Range tankers for loading to June 18, according to the median in a survey yesterday of six shipbrokers. That’s four more vessels, each normally carrying 37,000 metric tons of the auto fuel, compared with a corresponding survey last week. There are 45 ships available for the trade, 11 more than last week.

U.S. gasoline usage typically peaks during the so-called driving season between the Memorial Day holiday in late May and Labor Day in early September. Still, rising prices and a drop in the number of miles driven are curbing total U.S. demand for the fuel, according to maritime consultant Poten & Partners Inc. Vessels plying the trans-Atlantic route were earning $10,329 daily as of yesterday, the lowest since Nov. 28, according to the Baltic Exchange in London.

Eleven of the 22 charters have been completed and the rest are anticipated, according to the latest survey. Ship bookings often contain clauses allowing vessels to sail to different ports.

The survey is based on the industry’s benchmark Rotterdam-to-New York voyage, which takes about 11 days at 12.5 knots, according to the sea-distances.com website. Below is a table of ships chartered, probably hired and available to be booked for the journey loading over the two-week periods from the dates shown.

*T June 4 May 28 Change Ships Hired 11 13 -15% Expected Charters 11 5 +120% Total Hired 22 18 +22% Available Ships, Europe-U.S. 45 34 +32% *T

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