According to MANA, Although no major changes have been seen in the absolute volume of spot VLCC fixtures out of the Middle East, this coupled with the ongoing rapid expansion of the trading fleet, forced spot earnings down to around USD 17,500/day in recent months, from over USD 40,000/day at the start of the year, a report from Gibson Shipbrokers shows.
“The dilemma faced by OPEC does not inspire much optimism for the crude tanker market, hoping to see increases in Middle East crude exports. If production cuts are extended through 2018, the only hope for owners will be continued strong gains in long haul trade, persistent floating storage and slowing fleet growth,” Gibson said.
In contrast to the developments in the crude tanker segment, so far to date the impact of production cuts on oil markets has been rather muted.
Although global OECD oil stocks have moved to lower levels relative to the five-year averages, they still remain at highly elevated levels.
For 2018, the International Energy Agency (IEA) expects to see a healthy growth in world oil demand at 1.4 million b/d, however, further gains are projected in non-OPEC supply. By far the biggest increase is anticipated in US oil production, which is forecast to rise year-on-year by 1.05 million b/d. Smaller gains are also expected elsewhere, most notably in Brazil, Canada and the UK, together accounting for a further 0.6 million b/d increase.