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Shortage of VLCCs in Persian Gulf for first time in a year

Dubai: The Persian Gulf, the world's biggest crude-oil loading region, has too few VLCCs to haul the fuel for the first time in almost a year, potentially helping to sustain a rally in freight costs. There are 1 percent fewer very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, for hire over the next 30 days than there are cargoes, according to the median estimate of eight shipbrokers and owners surveyed by Bloomberg News yesterday. There was a 20 percent surplus a week ago.?Charter rates for VLCCs hauling Saudi Arabian crude to Japan, the route used to settle freight derivatives, climbed 11 percent to 82.06 Worldscale points yesterday, the fifth straight advance, according to data from the London-based Baltic Exchange.?Daily rental income from the route jumped 27 percent to $42,517, according to the bourse. Returns have surged almost 26- fold since Oct. 8. Frontline Ltd., the biggest operator of VLCCs, requires $30,900 a day to break even on them. [03/11/10]

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