Returns for tankers carrying oil products from the U.S. slumped after price gains in the country and Europe limited the incentive for trans-Atlantic shipments, according to Poten & Partners Inc.
Earnings for ships hauling European gasoline to the U.S. East Coast and transporting diesel on the return voyage slid to $6,500 a day after reaching $14,000 in May, the New York-based shipbroker said in a report Sept. 7.
European diesel prices jumped because of reduced refinery capacity in the Atlantic region, which ordinarily would spur flows of cargoes to northwest Europe or Mediterranean Sea ports from the U.S. Gulf Coast, Poten said. Diesel prices also climbed in the U.S. because of limited supply, curbing the so-called arbitrage for trans-Atlantic cargoes, the report showed.
The flow of refined products across the ocean is set to recover as U.S. refineries resume output and European plants enter a maintenance period, Poten said.
An explosion and fire at Venezuela’s Amuay refinery, the country’s biggest, a blaze at Chevron Corp.’s Richmond plant in California and shutdowns because of Hurricane Isaac led to the reduction in capacity, according to the shipbroker.