In this note, we are delighted to welcome JBC Energy as a guest co-author, allowing us the opportunity to provide the tanker industry with unique insight into the outlook for West to East naphtha tanker flows in the second half of 2016 and the impact on corresponding clean tanker rates. Located in Vienna, Austria, JBC Energy has an established reputation as a leading research institute offering independent and unbiased expertise for the global energy sector.
The recent weakness in VLCC spot rates has revealed an increasing amount of fixture activity carried out by “disadvantaged” tankers. Chartering older tonnage is nothing new to the tanker industry, despite increasingly stringent vetting requirements by terminal operators and charterers. While the majority of charterers implement a maximum age restriction of 15 years old for tankers, we note that this requirement becomes somewhat more flexible when freight rates firm, which can be seen from the significant increase in disadvantaged fixtures this year, following a favorable 2015 freight rate environment for owners.