Rates for the largest oil tankers were little changed as traders paced hiring of the vessels for July cargoes, according to Astrup Fearnley AS.
Charter costs for very large crude carriers on the benchmark voyage to Asia from the Middle East fell 0.2 percent to 41.18 industry-standard Worldscale points, according to the Baltic Exchange, the London-based publisher of shipping costs. Rates receded 12 percent from a five-month high on May 31.
Eleven cargoes were booked, cutting the supply of available ships by 16 to 80, according to Marex Spectron Group, a broker of freight derivatives. Traders are gradually seeking ships to keep rates steady, Oslo-based shipbroker Fearnley said in an e-mailed report today.
“Despite owners’ fierce attempts to show some resistance, charterers have managed to shave a little off recent levels,” Fearnley said. “The market will require a considerable increase in activity to turn the present trend around to owners’ favor.”
Daily earnings on the trade route rose 1.1 percent to $13,777, according to the exchange. Its assessments don’t reflect owners cutting speed to use less fuel, their biggest expense. The price of ship fuel, known as bunkers, fell 0.1 percent to $606.47 a metric ton today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from 25 ports worldwide.
Worldscale points are a percentage of a nominal rate for more than 320,000 specific routes. Flat rates for every voyage, quoted in dollars a ton, are revised annually by the Worldscale Association in London to reflect changing fuel costs, port tariffs and exchange rates.
The Baltic Dirty Tanker Index, a broader gauge of oil-shipping costs that includes smaller vessels, fell 0.5 percent to 580, remaining at the lowest level since November 2009.
The biggest move in rates for crude tankers was for Aframaxes to the U.S. from the Caribbean, falling 3.2 percent to 81 Worldscale points, according to the exchange. The biggest change for vessels hauling refined fuels was for ships crossing the Mediterranean, down 1.2 percent to 125.67 points.
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