New York, 1 November (Argus) — US Gulf refiners continue to target markets overseas in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, pushing tanker charter rates more than 50pc higher in just a few days.
Around 35 medium-range clean product tankers have been fixed to load clean product at the US Gulf coast in the past three days, according to shipbrokers. Those tankers will carry around 11mn bl of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel to Europe, Brazil and Mexico, as a collapse in US demand forces Gulf refiners to target new markets.
Hurricane Sandy slammed in the US east coast the night of 29 October, rolling across the eastern seaboard, causing massive flooding, power outages and wind damage. Analysts are projecting massive demand destruction for transportation fuels for several weeks as the region slowly recovers.
No more medium-range tankers are likely to be available for loading clean product before 10 November. The cost of hiring a vessel to take product from the US Gulf to Europe rose to 145pc of WorldScale rates today, up from 82.5pc of those rates to start the week. Demand for seaborne transport could slow in the next few days, as operations slowly resume on the Colonial pipeline, which carries clean product from the US Gulf to the US Atlantic coast.
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