The Changing Face of the VLCC Market

press release
Tuesday, February 07, 2012

With so much discussion of the poor freight rates available to VLCC owners hiring their ships out for voyages from the Middle East to major consumers east and west, it is informative to see how much the spot market for VLCCs has changed in just a few years.

 

Since 2005, there has been a 25% reduction in reported AG/West spot VLCC voyages from 291 in 2005 to 216 in 2011. Just 11 AG/West fixtures were recorded in January 2012; if annualised the total would be 180, only 62% of the number recorded in just seven years earlier. The US, the world’s largest oil consumer and traditionally the major customer for Middle Eastern oil, has diversified its supplies of energy with important effects for the VLCC market. The reasons for this diversification are complex and reflect not only market evolution, but changes to US economic, fiscal, environmental, and foreign policy. 

 

According to the latest US Energy Information Agency (EIA), domestic crude oil production up reversed a long-term decline to grow from 5.18million barrels per day (m bpd) in 2005 to 5.47m bpd in 2010. Meanwhile, oil imports from Canada rose from 1.6m bpd in 2005 to 1.97m bpd in 2010.  More locally-produced oil will replace long-haul oil in a shrinking marketplace: the EIA 2012 Early Release Overview forecasts a 0.5% annual reduction in energy consumption per capita in the US between 2010 and 2035.

 

Meanwhile, high gasoline prices in the US have led to a reduction in domestic gasoline and diesel demand, with the US becoming a net petroleum products exporter for the first time in 2011 since the late 1940s. Despite overseas demand for petroleum products refined in the US, a number of East Coast refineries have closed, if they rely on imported crude, as these cannot compete with US Gulf refiners with access to cheaper West Texas Intermediate crude oil.

 

China meanwhile has become the world’s second largest consumer of oil and, with an extensive refinery building programme underway, is in line to match US oil consumption within the current decade. Consequently, the VLCC spot market has swung eastwards; in 2005, 20% of VLCC spot fixtures discharged in China; in January 2012, that had increased to 40%. Chinese oil refiners have swept into leading positions in the VLCC charter market.  Discharges East of Suez now account for 85% of VLCC voyages out of the AG compared to 71% in 2005.

 

Mark Williams, Braemar Seascope research director, believes this swing to the East is now firmly entrenched. He said, “As Chinese refiners will probably add over 6m bpd of domestic refinery capacity in the next five years, their presence in the VLCC spot market is likely to increase further as China makes efforts to secure its energy supplies.”

Maritime Reporter January 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

InterMoor Completes Juniper Mooring Installation Contract

InterMoor has completed a mooring and foundation installation campaign for bpTT’s Juniper gas project offshore Trinidad and Tobago, reportedly the largest foundation

Seagull Secures Panama Flag Approval

Seagull Maritime said it has secured training center approval from the Panama Maritime Authority, marking the first time that an overseas company has done so following

26-year Jail Term Sought for Concordia Master

An Italian prosecutor asked a court on Monday to sentence the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner to more than 26 years in jail for his role in the 2012 disaster that killed 32 people.

Contracts

InterMoor Completes Juniper Mooring Installation Contract

InterMoor has completed a mooring and foundation installation campaign for bpTT’s Juniper gas project offshore Trinidad and Tobago, reportedly the largest foundation

Huisman Cranes for New Maersk Subsea Support Vessels

In December 2014, Huisman secured a contract from COSCO (Dalian) Shipyard for the delivery of four customized 400mt Rope Luffing Knuckle Boom Cranes and two 100mt

Boost for Offshore Wind Energy

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop domestic clean energy resources and cut carbon pollution, Secretary of the Interior

Tanker Trends

Gypsy Moth Clause Takes Balanced Approach to Risk

A new BIMCO clause provides a simple, practical and commercial solution focusing on the basic obligations and responsibilities of owners and charterers when dealing with the Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM).

Batangas Port Sets Container Record

Batangas Container Terminal (BCT) set a new record in 2014 for containers handled, says its operator Asian Terminals, Inc. (ATI).  Port handled over 98,000 twenty-foot-equivalent

Yamal LNG Inks Deal with Gazprom to Sell LNG in Asia

A trading subsidary of Russian gas producer Yamal LNG has signed a long-term supply contract with a trading subsidiary of Gazprom, under which liquefied natural

Finance

Study Examines Impacts of Inland Waterway Investment

The National Waterways Foundation (NWF) has commissioned and released a two-year study to examine the U.S. inland waterways’ national economic return on investment

Gypsy Moth Clause Takes Balanced Approach to Risk

A new BIMCO clause provides a simple, practical and commercial solution focusing on the basic obligations and responsibilities of owners and charterers when dealing with the Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM).

Maersk Line Gets new AEO number

Maersk Line has been re-certified as an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) with the AEO-F, the highest achievable accreditation in the European Union programme.

Logistics

Study Examines Impacts of Inland Waterway Investment

The National Waterways Foundation (NWF) has commissioned and released a two-year study to examine the U.S. inland waterways’ national economic return on investment

Winter Storm Closes New York/New Jersey Terminals

All marine terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey are expected to close around 3: 30 p.m. today and remain closed all day tomorrow as a severe winter

Batangas Port Sets Container Record

Batangas Container Terminal (BCT) set a new record in 2014 for containers handled, says its operator Asian Terminals, Inc. (ATI).  Port handled over 98,000 twenty-foot-equivalent

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1487 sec (7 req/sec)