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The highlight of this week’s trading has been an impressive spike in spot VLCC rates, with daily TCE earnings up to their highest level since April last year. The Middle East and West African markets have been supported by an extended period of healthy enquiry from Asian buyers, although weather delays in the Far East have also helped. The weekly tanker market report by Gibson Shipbrokers features an overview of the crude oil and oil product tanker market.
Seasonal measures introduced by Australia, New Zealand and Chile to combat marmorated stink bug risk.
Efforts to reduce piracy in Gulf of Guinea have so far had little effect. The world’s biggest economies are strengthening their military presence in Southeast Asia, and meanwhile, the security situation in the Red Sea off Yemen remain volatile. On 9 October BIMCO will shed light on the international security situation to raise awareness and stimulate discussions.
The continued severity of the tanker market conditions has made owners dig deep into the oversupply of capacity. Still BIMCO expects the tanker fleet to keep growing. A short-term rate recovery is not expected, as it is ‘maintenance season’ for the global refining industry in September and October.
The trade war adds painful uncertainty for the shipping industry, as it distorts the free flow of goods, changes trade lanes and makes it difficult for ship operators and owners to position their ships efficiently in the market.
This is the latest in a series of reports supplied by the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA) with the intention of keeping BIMCO members appraised of legislative developments in the US affecting international shipping. BIMCO highlights only the relevant developments that would impact members. The full CSA May report is also provided.
Free trade provides prosperity and peace. It’s a fundamental principle to cherish and safeguard. All trade-restrictive measures are in principle bad for shipping. Right now, the international atmosphere is full of threats of retaliation and it appears likely that major trading partners with the US like the EU and China will hit back to draw a line in the sand for the US Administration and President Trump.
What will the future bring? Overall demand growth is expected to be lower than in 2017, but still high enough to potentially improve the fundamental market balance.