Bloomberg News

Oil-Tanker Supply Falls to 21-Month Low, Morgan Stanley Says

March 19, 2012

The supply of oil tankers seeking to haul Persian Gulf crude fell to a 21-month low on demand in China and possible disruptions of Iranian exports, Morgan Stanley analyst Fotis Giannakoulis said.

Oil companies booked a “surprising high” of 42 very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, to ship crude to China in the past two weeks, Giannakoulis wrote in an e-mailed report today. U.S. refineries on the Gulf of Mexico are also accelerating purchases of Saudi Arabian (OPCRSAUD) crude after the world’s largest exporter widened price discounts, he said.

The reduced vessel supply is “mainly driven by geopolitical uncertainties over Iranian production and the surge in eastbound demand,” he said, adding that the number of ships seeking cargo is the lowest since June 2010.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alaric Nightingale in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stuart Wallace at

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