The recently sold Baltic Exchange is considering adding five new tanker routes to its suite of physical and derivative indices.
According to sources at the shipping market data provider, the routes have been under study for some time.
The proposed new tanker routes are:
The routes have been proposed to members and it is not clear at this stage if they are to replace existing routes.
Throughout the history of market data collection there has been a need to alter routes as trade lanes develop but this comes at the price of a discontinuation of a time series.
Therefore, the Baltic Exchange undertakes a review process. For instance, one of the proposed routes, VLCC US Gulf to China, has seen spectacular tonne-mile demand growth since President Obama lifted restraints on US crude oil exports – from virtually zero in 2016 to 95Bn dwt nautical miles in 2017 and 172Bn dwt nautical miles in 2018.
However, the Chinese seem to have put an unofficial moratorium on US crude oil imports since August 2018, which would have skewed rates.
The two proposed Aframax tanker routes (see chart) show steady and consistent tonne-mile growth. According to VesselsValue data the US Gulf to Mediterranean trade route has seen tonne-mile demand grow 10-fold in the last six years.
Business, operational and technical issues impacting the crude, product and chemical tanker trades will be discussed at the Asian Tanker Conference in Singapore in February.