Bloomberg News

Gasoline Tanker Glut Set to Reach 19-Week High, Survey Shows

February 17, 2012

(Updates Baltic Exchange data in third paragraph.)

Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- A glut of tankers available to haul gasoline to the U.S. from Europe is set to reach a 19-week high over the next two weeks as chartering of the ships weakens, a survey showed.

There are 32 vessels that may be able to carry trans- Atlantic cargoes up to March 1, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey yesterday of five shipbrokers, three traders and one owner who specialize in shipping the auto fuel. That’s a gain of three ships from last week’s survey and the biggest glut since Oct. 6.

Traders and oil companies booked or probably will hire 25 ships, the survey showed, one fewer than in the two weeks to Feb. 23. Vessels carrying gasoline on the Rotterdam-to-New York route are earning $12,436 a day, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. That’s a 44 percent drop this year, its figures show.

The ships, known as medium-range tankers, would be able to haul about 7.86 million barrels of gasoline, or 562,000 barrels a day, over the next two weeks. That’s 72 percent of the 783,000 barrels the U.S. imported daily over the last 12 months, according to the Department of Energy.

Of the vessels chartered or due to be hired, 14 have been booked and 11 more will probably be arranged, the survey showed. It’s based on so-called single-voyage, or spot, charters and excludes loadings under longer-term contracts. The survey assumes shipments to the U.S. East Coast from northwestern Europe. Each tanker would normally haul about 37,000 metric tons of gasoline, or 315,000 barrels.

Following is a table of ships chartered and probably to be hired for the trans-Atlantic voyage loading over the two-week periods from the dates shown. The table also displays the number of ships available to be booked.

*T Feb. 16 Feb. 9 Change Ships Hired 14 14 -- Ships Probably to Be Hired 11 12 -8% Total 25 26 -4% Available Ships 32 29 +10%

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