Europe-U.S. Gasoline Cargoes Seen Steady Amid Peak Demand Period

The number of gasoline cargoes booked for shipment to the U.S. from Europe will remain little changed over the next two weeks as the country’s peak demand period continues, a Bloomberg News survey showed.

Traders will charter a total of 21 Medium Range tankers for loading to June 25, the median in a survey yesterday and today of seven shipbrokers and traders showed. That compares with 22 vessels, each normally carrying 37,000 metric tons of the auto fuel, in a corresponding survey last week. There are 28 ships available for the trade, 17 fewer 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. Demand is forecast to show a seasonal gain of around 300,000 barrels a day during the summer months, the International Energy Agency said in a report today.

“Anecdotal reports that the driving season has recently receded in importance appear overdone,” the Paris-based adviser to 28 developed nations said. Still, it predicted a 0.1 percent drop in U.S. gasoline demand for the entire year.

Tankers plying the trans-Atlantic route were earning $8,647 daily as of yesterday, the lowest since Nov. 28, according to the Baltic Exchange in London.

Twelve of the 21 charters have been completed and the rest are anticipated, the latest survey showed. 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 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 11 June 4 Change Ships Hired 12 11 +9.1% Expected Charters 9 11 -18% Total Hired 21 22 -4.5% Available Ships, Europe-U.S. 28 45 -38% *T

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