Europe-Bound Diesel Tanker Diverts to Venezuela

The Europe-bound tanker Sea Horizon, laden with a 38,000-metric-ton cargo of diesel, diverted to Venezuela over the weekend, amid falling prices in the Mediterranean and northwest Europe for the middle distillate.

The tanker, which loaded at the Magellan Galena Park Terminal on June 28, first signaled it would be heading for Gibraltar, arriving in mid-July. The grade of diesel isn't known, nor the charterer.

Over the weekend, the vessel turned around mid-Atlantic, and is now signalling that it will arrive at Amuay Bay, Venezuela, within the next two days, according to the OPIS Tanker Tracker.

Diesel cargo prices in the Mediterranean and northwest Europe have already dropped 5% this month, OPIS calculations show. Prices ended the week at $413.75 per ton and $416.75 per ton, respectively.

Several Europe-bound diesel cargoes diverted to West Africa last week, including the Glencore-controlled Torm Louise, which arrived at the Togolese port of Lome on July 8.

Some eight cargoes of diesel totaling around 295,000 tons were loaded from the U.S. Gulf or Atlantic coast and are currently on the water and scheduled to arrive at a Mediterranean port between now and Aug. 4, according to data compiled from brokers, traders and vessel-tracking data. A further six ships each laden with about 38,000 tons are heading for northwest Europe.

Diesel exports to Europe from the U.S. averaged just over 1 million metric tons a month in 2015 according to figures from Eurostat, the European Commission's statistics database.

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