20 Dec

Week 50: Crude Prices Touch $65

WRITTEN BY Sue Goodridge

Week 50

Previously in this series, we discussed that crude (DBO) tanker stocks were mixed in the week ending December 15, 2017. VLCC (very large crude carrier), Suezmax, and Aframax rates fell. In this part of the series, we’ll see how crude oil and bunker fuel prices fared in week 50.

Week 50: Crude Prices Touch $65

Oil prices

At the beginning of the previous week, crude oil prices hit $65 per barrel, which one of the highest levels in the last two years. Prices rose due to the unplanned shutdown of the Forties crude oil pipeline for several weeks. Also, a fall in US crude inventories supported the prices. Brent crude oil prices rose to $63.3 per barrel on December 15, 2017, from $62.2 per barrel on December 8, 2017.

Bunker fuel prices

On December 14, 2017, the average bunker fuel price was $406 per ton—compared to $400 per ton on December 7, 2017. According to the Gibson report for week 50, bunker fuel prices at Rotterdam were $342 per ton on December 14, 2017—compared to $335 per ton the previous week. Bunker fuel prices at the Port of Fujairah fell to $369 per ton from $372 per ton the previous week, according to the same report.

Which companies were impacted?

Industries that transport commodities on ships incur bunker fuel costs. These industries are LNG (liquefied natural gas) carriers, product tankers, dry bulk carriers, and crude oil tankers. Bunker fuel prices are closely related to oil prices.

Some of the major crude oil tanker companies are Nordic American Tankers (NAT), Frontline (FRO), Gener8 Maritime Partners (GNRT), and Euronav (EURN). GasLog (GLOG) and Hoegh LNG Partners (HMLP) are LNG carrier companies. Navios Maritime Partners (NMM) is a major dry bulk shipper.

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