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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 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. Throughout Q2, activity in freight markets overall remained tepid as market participants geared for an expected pick up in 2H 2021.
Crude tanker utilisation: The good, the bad and the stable
Looking at the big picture using Vortexa freight analytics, the development of utilisation for the main crude tanker segments for the first half of 2021 does not indicate any significant change that could signal a long-anticipated recovery. However, it does display three distinct patterns.