Poten’s weekly opinion : Where Aframax market in the Med is heading

May 27 2024

Change is the only constant in the Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean, or the “Med” as it is known in shipping circles, is one of the most important bodies of water in maritime history. The Mediterranean played a central role in the history of Western civilization. The empires of the Greeks, Egyptians, Romans and the Ottomans were all concentrated around the Mediterranean. 
The Roman Empire dominated the Med for centuries and is the only state to ever control all of its coastline. During the 16th century, as more seaborne trade developed between Europe and Asia, the Med temporarily lost some of its strategic importance because ships sailed around the Cape of Good Hope. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 changed the dynamics of trade. 
The fastest route from the North Atlantic to East Africa and Asia once again led through the Mediterranean. The Med has been a crucial body of water for crude oil and product tankers, with significant geopolitical importance. Given the restrictions in many of the ports in the region as well as the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean has always been more important for Aframaxes and Suezmaxes than for VLCCs. 
In this Weekly Opinion Poten's will look at the Aframax trade in the Med and try to determine where the market is heading.

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