According to BIMCO’s chief shipping analyst Peter Sand, so far 2018 has been an unexciting year for the product tanker sector. But he feels that may change shortly.
The BCTI has grown by 37% since 24 August 2018, and earnings for an LR2 tanker moved up to US$12,838 by 2 November 2018, with LR1 tankers and MR tankers rising only slowly, reports BIMCO.
BIMCO said a glut of gasoline in the Far East has brought down refinery margins, as supply has exceeded demand. This may also limit the arbitrage opportunities for oil traders, ultimately limiting demand for oil product tankers too.
For the product tanker fleet, BIMCO's forecast is steady growth from early August with tankers being delivered as predicted with just eight MR orders, by unknown owners, placed at a South Korean shipyard since then.
BIMCO also kept its demolition forecast intact, resulting in an estimated fleet growth of 2.4% – the lowest level since 2012. More importantly, the 2019 fleet growth forecast remains fixed at 2.4%, with deliveries and demolitions both falling.
Further views on the outlook for the product tanker fleet will be given at the Asian Tanker Conference in Singapore, 26-27 February 2019.