Despite record levels of tanker recycling in the early months of the year, tanker analysts and brokers are increasingly concerned about continuing tonnage oversupply, particularly in the VLCC sector where a series of new contracts have been placed recently with more to follow.

Damen Shipyards Group has signed a contract with Corpetrolsa Group of Guayaquil, Ecuador, for the supply of three tugs; one Stan Tug 1205 and two Stan Tugs 1606.

Shipowners and commodity traders are now digesting the impacts of President Donald Trump’s widely anticipated announcement that the US would pull out of the six nation accord reached with Iran in 2015. The 2015 agreement with Iran- officially the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” (JCPOA), with the European Union also a participant, saw a rigorous regime of economic sanctions against Iran rolled back.

Saudi Arabian shipowner Bahri has completed its current very large crude carrier (VLCC) fleet expansion with the delivery of 10th newbuilding from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI).

Russian shipowner PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) has secured $252m in financing for six LNG-fuelled aframax newbuildings currently under construction.

Danish shipowner Torm has taken up options on three MR product tanker newbuildings for $93m at Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI).

Kuwait Oil Tanker Co (KOTC) says it is seeing “measurable improvements” from implementing DNV GL’s ECO Insight performance management solution across its entire fleet.

Senior executives at products tanker pool operator Hafnia Management are quietly optimistic about their market in 2019 and beyond. Speaking of the demand supply balance, Hafnia ceo Anders Engholm told journalists: “We haven’t seen an imbalance like this in our favour for quite some time.”

With 3.5m dwt of tankers scrapped so far this year alone, VesselsValue.com noted that high scrapping and market consolidation will contribute to better returns for owners over the next several years.

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), one of Japan's big three shipowners, is undertaking a restructuring of its organisation that includes a new technical innovation unit.

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