Trade restrictions and sanctions against Russia, imposed due to the invasion of Ukraine, have led to an unprecedented boom in the global tanker shipping market. Ship charter prices reached records in the spring and are still at high levels, while the used tanker market is in a frenzy, with ship prices up 60% and the number of deals hitting a five-year high. Bloomberg writes about this with reference to participants in the shipping market, as well as data from VesselsValue.
In connection with the events in Ukraine, world trade had to carry out a large reconfiguration of trade routes, and first of all this task affected the energy sector, which is why all large tankers of international carriers went to long-haul routes, the agency notes. But the owners of medium- and small-tonnage vessels went to serve Russian deliveries or their alternatives, which led to an unprecedented boom in this segment.
Head of Tanker Research at Braemar ACM Shipbroking notes that despite the price peak, shipping is still a very profitable business and is likely to remain so until the end of the year. Right now, there is a frenzied demand for ships on the market, representatives of ship brokers told the agency. According to them, the market understands that waiting for a new ship is a long time and takes up to three years on average, so demand is formed around already built and used ships.
According to VesselsValue, 184 "clean tankers" (designed for the supply of refined petroleum products, not crude oil) have been sold since the beginning of the year for $3.79 billion - an absolute record for the past five years. As an example, the agency cites a deal for the sale of a 14-year-old medium-range tanker, which was sold in mid-July for $19.3 million; a vessel similar in class and characteristics was sold for $5 million cheaper in April.
The six-year-old Largo Sun tanker was sold this month for $35 million, up 20% more than a similar class of vessel a few months ago, said Olivia Watkins, chief cargo analyst at VesselsValue. The average cost of a 15-year-old Aframax class tanker has increased by 60% since the beginning of the year, and similarly aged tankers of a lower class ( Panamax ) - by 40%.
The growth in demand and prices is associated with the search for alternatives to Russian goods. Companies and even entire countries are forced to reorient themselves to alternative suppliers, which are often further away than Russia, which only fuels demand for tankers and cargo ships.