The need for tankers is outstripping supply for the first time since 2008, according to the shipping association BIMCO, which expects strong earnings potential for both crude oil and oil product tankers during December and Janaury.
During September and October, 6 VLCCs, 10 Suezmaxes and no Aframaxes were ordered. This activity brings the total number of VLCCs on order up to 91, up from 61, eighteen months ago.
Meanwhile, interest in new product tanker orders has dried up. Only 20 new orders have surfaced since 1 July. The preference of product tanker investors is clear: 16 out of the 20 new orders landed in South Korea. During first half of 2014, 57 new ships were ordered.
Elsewhere BIMCO reports that a strong demand for containers has reduced the idle fleet. Though great volatility has returned to freight rates BIMCO expects that it will be some time before the market reaches stability. This is especially true, it says, in a declining market, where absolute volumes are reduced in Q1 and particularly around the Chinese New Year in early February, before building up to the next peak at the end of Summer in the Northern hemisphere.