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The LNG-fueled tanker Gagarin Prospect refuels in Rotterdam. Photo courtesy SCF Group

Platts Launches Tanker Freight Benchmark Incorporating Alternative Fuel

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 665
May 16, 2023

Platts, a prominent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets, has announced the launch of new tanker rate price assessments that for the first time factors in alternative fuel pricing.

Platts Base Rates incorporates conventional bunker fuel and liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker fuel, providing a standardized estimation of the expenses associated with transporting a tanker along a specific route.

The introduction marks the first comprehensive package of base rates that encompasses alternative fuel pricing, complementing Platts’ existing suite of voyage and time-charter tanker freight assessments.

Platts Base Rates can be used to calculate tanker freight rates based on “Points” and dollars per ton. They can also be employed in various product netback and net forward assessments, as well as crude oil yield and netback prices.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

“This launch is historic for Platts and the industry, with a new and unique tanker freight scale being introduced for the first time in decades,” said Peter Norfolk, S&P Global Commodity Insights Editorial Director of Global Shipping & Freight. “In addition, we offer market participants Platts Base Rates that are calculated using alternative bunker fuels. With both yearly and dynamic options, Platts Base Rates aim to help the shipping industry navigate the energy transition with heightened price transparency.”

As sustainability and the energy transition increasingly gain global attention, S&P Global Commodity Insights anticipates a significant rise in the maritime sector’s utilization of alternative fuels like LNG in the coming years. Platts Base Rates will help to provide insights into the supply chain and shedding light on pricing related to future fuel compositions.

Platts Base Rates are designed to be future-proofed for use in tanker freight assessments and can easily replicate standard rates based on alternative bunker fuels such as LNG, Methanol, and Ammonia. Platts will publish annual Base Rates alongside dynamic Base Rates, which are updated daily using bunker price assessments from Singapore and Rotterdam.

The calculation of the Base Rate rests on a single established assumption: listing all possible costs for the entire voyage and dividing it by the deadweight tonnage of the standard vessel. This calculation results in the $/MT Base Rate, which corresponds to 100 points on the scale. Considering the evolving market dynamics and the growing preference for larger-size vessels in the tanker sector, Platts Base Rates are calculated based on a larger tanker size of 105,000 deadweight (dwt).

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