Spot fixtures fall during first half of the year

Jul 05 2019

The overall volume of reported dirty tanker spot fixtures showed an unusual decline, compared to the same period in 2018 - down from 5,409 to 4,623 - according to Poten & Partners regular analysis of the spot fixture market.

Also declining was the total cargo volume fixed on spot voyages, which fell by 13%, similar to the decline in overall cargo volumes (using AIS data), mainly due to lower AG exports and lower imports into the US Gulf.In the VLCC segment.

Unipec continued to be in a league of its own, although the number of spot fixtures fell somewhat, but fixtures of smaller ships increased and Sinopec’s total cargo volume also rose.

More reported VLCC fixtures are attributed to the Chinese giant than to the next eight largest VLCC charterers combined, Poten said. However, It should be noted that reported fixture activity does not always equal market presence, as charterers with a large controlled fleet and/or a preference for private deals, keep a low profile in these rankings.

The total number of reported VLCC spot fixtures decreased to 1,156 from 1,193 recorded in 1H18 (-3%).In the Suezmax segment, Shell took over the top spot from Chevron. Unipec was a notable newcomer to the top Suezmax charterer list, mainly due to increased Suezmax imports from more intra-Asian shipments.

Exxon also increased its position, mainly due to higher US Gulf exports to UK/Cont. The total number of reported Suezmax spot fixtures in 1H19 (1,287) was significantly lower than in the first half of 2018 (1,628); more in line with 2017 levels (1,320).

In the Aframax segment, Shell and Vitol traded places. Unipec also made the Aframax list this year as the charterer became more active in Atlantic trades. The total number of reported Aframax spot fixtures declined in 1H19 to 1,809 fixtures from 2,039 in 2018 (-11%).


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