Freight rates for Russian Urals oil shipments from Europe to Asia eased for April-loading cargoes making purchases of the grade even more attractive, two sources in the shipping market said.
Tanker rates for Urals oil shipments from Baltic ports to ports in India, the main buyer of the cargoes, were at around $8 million for Aframax tankers that can carry 80,000-120,000 tonnes onboard.
The cost of transport from Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiisk to Indian ports was also between $7.9 million and $8 million. This was down from $8.5 million-$9 million paid for the same journeys from Russian ports for March-loading volumes.
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The cost of fixing vessels for Urals oil supplies from Russian ports to China was estimated at around $10 million compared to $11 million-$12 million for March cargoes, the sources added.
Rates for Suezmax tankers (able to carry 120,000-180,000 tonnes) from Russia’s ports to India and China were the same as for smaller vessels, the sources said.
Russian Baltic ports, the main outlets for seaborne Urals, normally load 100,000-tonne cargoes, best suited for Aframax vessels, but as the cargo market for embargoed Russian oil is small suppliers also use Suezmax vessels for the same loadings, wiping out the difference between the two sizes, one of the sources said.
Lower tanker rates should help buyers for India and China to remain the leaders in the Russian seaborne Urals oil market as a “pricey and long voyage is the only disadvantage in their race for heavily discounted Russian oil”, the other source said.
Source: Reuters (Editing by Susan Fenton)