That Sinking Feeling….

04 February 2022

Global ton-mile demand took another beating in 2021

Last year we published our first ranking of global dirty trade routes, covering both crude oil and dirty products, like fuel oil. Many of the top routes (in ton-miles/day) have destinations in Asia, the engine of oil demand growth. Not surprisingly, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, transportation demand was down in 2020 compared to 2019, both in barrels per day as well as in ton-miles per day. The latter is the most relevant for the tanker market, because it considers transportation volumes as well as distances.

Unfortunately, the situation did not improve in 2021. Ton-mile demand (derived from the APEX data of Lloyds List Intelligence) was down another 5.3% last year compared to 2020 (on top of the 5.5% decline in the previous year). Within the overall ton-mile demand picture, there are some interesting movements on individual routes, which we will discuss below.

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