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Industry Opinions


A Mulligan for Capesize Owners?
January 23, 2015
How bulker conversions will impact the tanker market

While the tanker market has gone from strength to strength on the back of sharply lower oil prices and moderate fleet expansion, the dry cargo market, in general, and capesize bulk carriers, in particular, are in the doldrums. The dry bulk orderbook for 2015 and 2016 delivery remains high, in particular for Capesize vessels. Is it realistic to expect that a significant portion of these large bulk carriers are going to be converted to Aframax or Suezmax tankers?
No Blast From The Past
January 16, 2015

The collapse in oil prices that we are experiencing now is not unprecedented.  As a matter of fact, something very similar happened in the oil markets in 1985 and 1986.  Within a period of 8 months, the Brent crude oil price went from $30 per barrel to $10 per barrel.  What was the situation in the tanker market back in the mid-1980s?  Is history repeating itself in the tanker market as well? 


Who’s on First?
January 09, 2015
Top Reported Dirty Spot Charterers for 2014*

Our traditional annual review of the top dirty spot charterers shows
the usual names at the top of the lists. Unipec remains number one
in the overall ranking of reported dirty spot charterers for 2014.
With 815 reported fixtures, they represented 7.8% of the total dirty
spot market activity, again edging oil major Shell, which retained 2nd
place with 758 fixtures. Oil trader Vitol moved up one spot and
replaced BP in the top 3. One new entrant in the top 20 was Italian
oil company ENI, which moved up to no. 15, while U.S. refiner
Valero dropped out of the top 20 in 2014.
2014 In The Rear View
December 31, 2014
Update and Review of 2014 Tanker Opinions

The end of the year is often a time of reflection and subsequent planning for the new year ahead. In this last issue of this year we will review the current status of the most relevant topics that were discussed throughout the year.
Let it Float, Let it Float, Let it Float
December 24, 2014
Is floating storage on the verge of a comeback?

The world is currently awash in crude as supply exceeds demand due to rapid production growth in North America, the return of lost barrels from geopolitical hot spots (such as Libya) combined with a slowdown in demand growth. As a result, oil prices have fallen significantly and the oil markets have shifted to contango again and storage of crude oil appears to be increasing, leaving many to wonder what the likelihood of floating storage is and what it could mean for tanker rates in 2015.
LR … 2 Sides to the Story
December 19, 2014
Does it make sense to switch from clean to dirty?

While comparing the current TCE earnings for an LR2 moving naphtha on an Arabian Gulf - Far East voyage with the earnings for an Aframax trading crude from the Arabian Gulf to South East Asia, you will notice that there is a significant differential: $33,400/day for a ‘dirty’ voyage versus $24,500/day for a ‘clean’ trip. Based on this discrepancy, one would expect every owner of LR2s to switch their vessels into the crude trade. However, this does not happen to the extend you expect. Why is that?
Panamaxes Cleaning Up Their Act
December 12, 2014
Is there still a future for dirty Panamax tankers?

Panamax trades have been changing in the last 10-15 years as more and more of the fleet is coated and capable of trading refined products. Over time, the uncoated Panamax fleet has become a minority. This week we will take a look what the future might hold for the vessels still trading “on the dark side”.
The Bottom of the Barrel?
December 05, 2014
How will lower oil prices impact tanker demand?

Despite several months of sliding oil prices, OPEC decided not to change their oil production quotas last week. This likely means that oil supply will be plentiful and prices will remain under pressure. Question is: What does this mean for tanker demand?
Fuel Efficiency Saves The Day Rate
November 26, 2014

Do new, fuel efficient vessels still make sense in lower bunker price environments?

Everyone in the tanker industry is aware of the recent drop in crude oil prices and the decline in bunker fuel prices that followed. Bunker fuel is the single most expensive cost in operating tankers, so this is a welcome relief for ship owners.

West AfriCAN Go East
November 21, 2014
Where is all the West African Crude going?

Until the shale oil revolution in the United States, the West Africa to the U.S. trade route was one of the benchmark tanker trades. In recent times, however, almost no West African crude moves to the U.S. As the producers in Nigeria and Angola have not cut production, to whom do they sell their crude oil now?
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