Unipec retains spot chartering crown

Jul 06 2018

Unipec has again topped the list of dirty spot charters for the first half of this year.

The overall volume of reported dirty spot fixtures in 1H18 was only slightly higher (+0.6%) than in the same period last year (5,401 vs 5,367), Poten & Partners said in a half-yearly roundup of chartering activity.


However, the volume of cargo moved increased by 9%, indicating an underlying trend towards the use of larger vessels - ie, more VLCCs and Suezmaxes.


In the VLCC segment, Unipec continued to be in a league of its own. More reported VLCC fixtures were attributed to this Chinese giant than to the next eight largest VLCC charterers combined, Poten said.


The broker warned that reported fixture activity does not equal market presence, as charterers with a large controlled fleet and/or a preference for private deals, keep a low profile, thus influencing the rankings.


The total number of reported VLCC spot fixtures increased from 1,132 in 1H17 to 1,190 in 1H18 (+5.1%).


Chevron remained the largest Suezmax charterer during the period. Repsol  and Shell remained second and third, respectively.


There were a few changes in the other positions, but the established order  remained largely intact. The only notable changes were that Turkish charterer Tupras and Italy’s ENI disappearing from the top 10 ranking to be replaced by BPCL and ExxonMobil.


The total number of reported Suezmax spot fixtures in 1H18 (1,624) was 23% higher than in the first half of 2017 (1,320) - a significant increase.


Similar to the other segments, there was no change at the top for Aframaxes.


Vitol remained the largest spot charterer, staying well ahead of fellow traders Glencore (8rd) and Trafigura (9th).


Oil Majors continued to feature prominently in this segment, with Shell, BP, Total, Chevron and ExxonMobil all represented in the top 10.


The total number of reported Aframax spot fixtures during the period declined by 42 to 2,044 (-2%).


Poten explained that this report was assembled from market intelligence and reported spot market activity and as such may not provide a complete picture of the market but is a good guide to recent activity.


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