The price of oil has plunged, but the price of finding a place to put it has soared. So if you’re in the shipping industry and in the business of providing a temporary home for the world’s glut of crude, you’ve hit the jackpot.
More and more massive tankers at sea are being used simply to hold the oil — as much as 2 million barrels per vessel — until it is wanted. Other vessels are busy carrying it to buyers like China, which is taking advantage of prices not seen in two decades.
Tankers are in demand, and their rates, as low as $US25,000 ($31,315) a day in February, have ballooned to nearly $US200,000 a day.
“We are one of the few industries making money in this period,” said Hugo de Stoop, chief executive of Belgium-based Euronav, one of the world’s largest tanker companies. The current market for vessels, he added, “is totally and completely unusual.”
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