In Brief

Oversupply of tankers drops in recent weeks The oversupply of supertankers waiting to collect crude oil from Middle East ports shrank for a third week. There are 15 percent more very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, for hire over the next 30 days than there are cargoes, according to the median estimate of four shipbrokers and three owners surveyed by Bloomberg News yesterday. The surplus was 20 percent last week and 30 percent two weeks ago. Charter rates on the industry benchmark Saudi Arabia-to-Japan route fell 1 percent to 40.22 Worldscale points yesterday, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. Daily rental income from leasing the ships to haul Persian Gulf cargoes to Asia or the US advanced 1.3 percent to $8,871, according to the bourse, which takes into account fuel costs when calculating owners’ returns. Returns after fuel costs remain below the $11,603 a day that Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd estimates is needed to pay crew, insurance, repairs and other running costs, cutting into owners’ incentive to accept cargoes. (Bloomberg) New Democracy denies secret borrowing New Democracy spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said yesterday the government has not gone ahead with any form of «secret» borrowing, denying a report published yesterday in Kathimerini which stated that the government had borrowed 4 billion euros in European Commercial Paper (ECP) without making public any of the information. Koumoutsakos said lending through ECP is used to meet daily cash needs and that the amounts are not added to public debt figures. Producer prices Greek producer prices fell 7.8 percent year-on-year in August, pushed lower by a sharp drop in energy costs compared to the same period last year, the National Statistical Service (NSS) said yesterday. The latest reading brought the 12-month average annual pace of producer price inflation to -4.4 percent, down from -2.7 percent in July. Greek consumer price inflation picked up to 0.8 percent in August from July’s 41-year low of 0.6 percent as favorable base effects from oil began to recede. «Producer prices continue to slump year-on-year, although the downward pace is moderating compared to previous months. The favorable base effect from energy prices, which peaked in May-June, is gradually dissipating and should become negligible by year end,» said Nikos Magginas, economist at National Bank. (Reuters) Shipyard for sale ThyssenKrupp AG is selling part of its civil shipyards as the economic downturn hits shipbuilders around the world. German trade union IG Metall said late on Monday that ThyssenKrupp is selling the Emden Shipyards on the North Sea coast to SIAG Schaaf Industrie AG. Germany’s shipbuilding industry is suffering the worst slump in new orders in decades. Five shipbuilders have already filed for insolvency in Germany this year. SIAG will take on about 700 of the ThyssenKrupp shipyards’ 1,200 workers. The rest will remain at ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, which employs a total of 8,000. The unit will keep its yacht-building and maintenance operations, the union said. IG Metall also said ThyssenKrupp’s supervisory board had blocked the planned sale of container shipbuilder HDW-Gaarden to the Heinrich-Roenner Group. (Reuters)