"Since Sunoco said it was discussing forming a joint
venture to keep its Philadelphia refinery open two weeks ago, other companies
have come out of the woodwork with their own plans to keep struggling US and
European refineries in business. While these rescue plans are not particularly
good for a refining industry hampered by overcapacity, the development is
positive for suezmax crude tankers shipping cargoes from West Africa to the US
Atlantic coast. . . . . 'Everyone loves
a bargain,' said US-based shipbroker Poten & Partners in a report.
Unfortunately for shipowners, so do charterers, who can now charter a suezmax
on the spot market to ship West African crude to the US Atlantic coast at
around $13,000 per day, compared with about $35,000 per day in the middle of
March. Any extra cargoes and potential pick-up in rates and earnings will,
therefore, be a welcome boost for owners plying that trade."