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At the end of last year we sought to identify the main trends that will shape the 2021 freight markets. Firstly we urged market participants to follow floating storage as the main balancing factor for freight markets with persistent oversupply carried into the new year. Furthermore, we decided to keep an eye out on Chinese imports of crude oil as the main contributor to tanker tonne-miles in this market segment. When it comes to clean petroleum products (CPP) markets we were hopeful this would be the tanker market bright spot as refinery outages and closures would spur volumes of oil-on-water, boosting tonne-miles and utilisation.
Looking ahead, we expect the recent announcement of OPEC+ producers to boost output from May onwards, in line with seasonal demand peaks to spur tonne-miles within crude tanker markets whilst continued rollouts of vaccines across the world help ease national lockdowns. However, economic recovery will be uneven across regions.
CPP floating storage destocking indicates strength in demand