The largest oil tankers will earn more than previously estimated this year as stockpiling to make up for any possible loss of Iranian exports boosts revenue and distances, according to RS Platou Markets AS.
Daily income for supertankers hauling 2 million barrels will average $25,000 a day this year, up from a previous forecast of $13,000, the Oslo-based investment bank said in a report today. The total tanker fleet will expand 6.6 percent while demand grows 7.9 percent, Platou estimates.
Importers rushed to replace supplies from Iran and build inventories in case of a disruption in the Middle East, Ole- Rikard Hammer, head of research at RS Platou Economic Research, said in the report. Rates may decline in the second half this year as new ships join the fleet and oil producers cut output.
“2012 is turning out to be better than feared for the tanker market,” Hammer said in the report. “We attribute this development to the combination of extraordinary supply fears in the oil market at a time of relatively low inventories. We still see 2014 as the most likely year for a return to balanced conditions and a profitable market.”
World oil production rose 2.9 percent from a year ago and ships carried cargoes 5 percent farther in the first quarter, according to the report.
Returns for supertankers on the benchmark voyage to Japan from Saudi Arabia rose 4.3 percent today to $16,809, snapping an eight-day losing streak, according to the Baltic Exchange, the London-based publisher of freight rates. A 2.5 percent decline in ship fuel, owners’ largest expense, to $621.58 a metric ton outweighed charter costs sliding less than 1 percent to 49.13 industry-standard Worldscale points, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Worldscale system is a method for pricing oil cargoes on thousands of trade routes. Each individual voyage’s flat rate, expressed in dollars a ton, is set once a year. Today’s level means VLCC hire costs on the benchmark route are 49.13 percent of the nominal Worldscale rate for that voyage.
The Baltic Dirty Tanker Index, a broader measure of oil- shipping costs that includes vessels smaller than VLCCs, fell 1.1 percent to 699 points, the lowest since Sept. 30, exchange data show.
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