Tanker rates soaring as 2004 draws to a close

In only the last few weeks, while an earlier analysis of tanker rates was being prepared for publication and being published ("Higher transport costs drive demand for derivatives," OGJ, Nov. 22, 2004, p. 62), tanker rates have reached the highest they have been since the spikes of the early 1970s, that is, before the oil crises (see chart). Click here to enlarge imageSince mid-October, tanker rates have increased by more than 25% and by 300% since the summer. That earlier article mentioned the current highs: "For example, in May 2004 it was possible to lock-in freight costs for trading 250,000 tonnes of crude from the Middle East to Japan for the rest of the year at about $11/tonne. Toda...

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