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Fracking Boom Sends Chemical Tankers to Five-Year High

 FuelFix
July 31, 2013

The boom in U.S. natural-gas supplies is boosting chemical exports to Asia, driving up demand for specialized ships that carry the products and sending freight rates to a five-year high.

Earnings for tankers carrying 20,000 metric-ton cargoes in stainless-steel tanks will rise 12 percent to an average of $14,500 a day next year, the most since 2009, according to RS Platou Markets AS, the investment-banking unit of Norway’s largest shipbroking group. Analysts raised their estimates for shares of Stolt-Nielsen (SNI) Ltd., the biggest owner of the vessels, and expect them to rise 24 percent in 12 months, instead of 4.9 percent as recently as May 31.

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