Monday, May 7, 2012

Supertankers Delayed in China as Nation Fills Strategic Reserves

Delays emptying supertankers at ports in China are spiraling as the world’s biggest energy consumer scours the globe for alternatives to Iranian oil to fill its strategic reserves, driving up shipping costs.

Very large crude carriers hauling 2 million-barrel cargoes are waiting as long as 10 days to discharge, compared with two normally, Ody Valatsas, chartering manager of Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd., an Athens-based owner of 11 of the vessels, said by e-mail today. The increase took place in the past two months, he said. Delays are nine days, compared with about two usually, according to Nikos Varvaropoulos, an official at Athens-based Optima Shipbrokers Ltd.

China, which aims to more than double its reserve capacity, imported a record 23.5 million metric tons of crude a month in the first quarter, customs data show. Purchases from Venezuela more than doubled from a year earlier and deliveries from Angola climbed 25 percent. Its imports from Iran slumped to the lowest level since 2010. Read More