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4 Oct 2019: Has the long-anticipated tanker boom finally arrived?
Ever since the Trump administration slapped sanctions on COSCO Tankers (Dalian) because of their alleged involvement in moving Iranian crude, tanker rates have been going up. Initially, it was just crude tanker rates, but now product tanker rates are starting to percolate as well. With the winter market approaching and IMO 2020 just around the corner, the stage seems set for a period of substantial rate volatility with further upside potential. So far, VLCC rates on the benchmark route Arabian Gulf to China have increased to just shy of the $100,000/day, but indications are that this level could be well exceeded in the coming days and weeks ahead. How did we get here despite the dire warnings of a global demand slowdown and growing fears of a recession?

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