Caribbean tanker rates fall on low demand

The cost to transport crude oil from the Caribbean on Aframax tankers fell, declining for the first time in more than a week amid light demand for voyages.

‘The tanker market is relatively quiet,’ Omar Nokta, an analyst at Dahlman Rose & Co in New York, said in a note. ‘Activity is likely to be muted through the New Year, with reducing Opec production and depressed crack spreads globally hindering tanker demand. ‘Aframaxes were hired for an average rate of Worldscale 335 on Tuesday, down 8.2 per cent from Monday, according to New York-based Poten & Partners. It’s the first decline since Dec 17. Worldscale 335 is about US$82,000 a day after expenses, such as fuel and port fees. The slowing US economy has cut demand for gasoline, increasing stockpiles of crude oil and depressing the need for voyages. US oil inventories have climbed 11 per cent since Sept 19, according to a Dec 16 US Energy Department report. Inventories stood at 321.3 million barrels.

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