Already strong product tanker rates could be driven even higher if the US restricts petroleum product exports ahead of the US hurricane season, says Poten & Partners.

US energy secretary Jennifer Granholm recently called on the domestic energy industry to build inventories and reduce exports to avoid the risk of supply disruptions.

“Given the historic level of US refined product exports, I again urge you to focus in the near term on building inventories in the United States, rather than selling down current stocks and further increasing exports,” she said in a letter sent to several major US refiners.