Fluctuations in the global supply of tonnage are a primary factor behind freight rate volatility. In 2015, DPP net fleet growth of <1% supported a surge in spot rates and TCE earnings, drawing owners to shipyards for new vessels. This pick-up in ordering activity has contributed to an acceleration of supply growth since 2016, and stands as a major factor behind the freight rate weakness currently observe in the market. In this note, we review the evolution of the clean and dirty fleets in 2017 as well as provide guidance through 2019.
News headlines have recently highlighted rising geopolitical tensions within the second largest oil-producing nation in the Middle East, Iraq. Geopolitical conflicts can have lasting impacts on global oil trade flows, therefore, in this note, we will explain the potential implications of political unrest in Iraq.
VLCC freight rates have fallen to year-to-date lows in recent weeks as this tanker sector remains awash with tonnage, despite growing demand for cargo transport. For the remainder of the year, we are likely to see weakness, relative to previous years, persist through the seasonally stronger winter period.
Hurricane season creates many challenges to the tanker markets; infrastructure is damaged, ports are closed for extended periods and tankers are delayed in loading or discharging cargoes. The freight rate environment exhibits volatility as a result of chaotic trading patterns required to mitigate the immediate impacts from the weather disruptions. In this note, we analyze how the disruptions from Hurricane Harvey impacted the tanker markets and what may be expected from Hurricanes Irma and Katia.