Markets - the rocky road ahead

Jan 30 2015

According to DNV GL maritime head Tor Svensen, newbuilding activity will slow down this year by around 5-10%.

However, there could be more crude oil tanker newbuilding contracts, as the VLCC price remains below the $100 mill mark.

He said he was cautiously optimistic on the outlook for GDP growth, as well as seaborne trade but warned of possible geopolitical events causing a negative impact on the markets.

The demand for crude oil tankers is increasing substantially on the back of the low oil prices. He explained that a growing contango increases the likelihood of floating storage, but as timecharter rates remained high, it was not a highly used option, thus far.

There had been around 21 VLCCs and 19 Suezmaxes fixed on period charters for floating storage projects, Svensen said last week.

He thought that consolidation in the tanker sector would continue and the use of pools will increase.

Market sentiment is geared very much to the oil price, as oil consumption remains low. 

As for product tankers, imports to Latin America and Asia are expected to grow, as are US exports.

However, the orderbook is particularly strong, especially for MRs, but contracting last year was on the decline.

More contracts were forecast for LR1s and LR2s in the mid-term, due to growing Middle East exports, which had started to happen in the fourth quarter of last year. However, the influx of deliveries this year could have a negative impact on rates, he warned.

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