Tanker Shipping & Trade editor Edwin Lampert gives a rundown of who is leading the chartering charge in the tanker industry at the mid-point of 2017
Time for a halftime industry report on who is leading the chartering charge in the tanker industry. And who better to turn to than the always excellent industry analysts Poten & Partners.
In their latest run down of the top reported dirty spot charterers for the first half of 2017 the analysts decided to focus on spot fixture volumes.
The change in focus however yielded few surprises. To quote Poten & Partners, when it comes to the VLCC segment “Unipec continues to be in a league of its own”. In the first half of 2017, the Chinese charterer notched up 285 reported fixtures, 32 more than over the same period in 2016.
While dominant in the VLCC sector they actually lost ground in the Suezmax space, falling out of the top ten charterers. Chevron retained top spot and Repsol of Spain was again number two. Shell moved into Unipec’s previous slot at number three.
If the VLCC market is the preserve of Asian interests, the Suezmax segment belongs to Western charterers. The total number of reported Suezmax fixtures in the first half of 2017 also increased: from 1,176 to 1,322.
Vitol remained the largest spot Aframax charterer, Shell is number two, Glencore number three and Lukoil number four. The total number of reported Aframax spot fixtures during the first half declined by 40 to 2,085.
It will be interesting to see what the second half of the year holds for charterers and in particular whether the high chartering activity being undertaken by traders in the first half not only sustains but pushes them further up the rankings.