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2021 was another bad year for tankers

Photo: Mohamed Aly - Pixabay Mohamed Aly - Pixabay.jpg
An expected recovery in tanker rates never came in 2021, a year marked by continued oversupply and tepid demand, according to Poten and Partners.

In its weekly opinion piece, Poten and Partners said dirty cargo volumes in 2021 were similar to 2020 levels, which were in turn 16% lower than 2019’s pre-pandemic figures. The company’s data showed a 9% drop in VLCC fixtures, little change in suezmax fixtures and a 6% rise in aframax fixtures.

“The recovery that many pundits expected did not materialize and average dirty tanker rates fell to multi-decade lows,” the report said.

Unipec comfortably maintained the dirty spot charterer crown, accounting for 214m tonnes of cargo over 963 fixtures, 18.5% of total dirty cargoes. Second-place Shell had 50.5m tonnes over 438 cargoes or 4.4% of total cargoes.

Unipec topped the VLCC charterer table with over 700 fixtures compared to 97 for second-place IOC and 70 for Shell in third. At the bottom of the VLCC table, Hyundai took the number 10 spot and Bahri left the top 10.

The number of suezmax fixtures was stable, but Petrobras has taken the suezmax table by storm in recent years. The company missed out on the top 10 in 2019 before taking seventh in 2020 and first in 2021.

For aframaxes, 3,451 fixtures was a 6% increase on-year. Vitol retained the top spot, with Glencore dropping out of the top 10 replaced by Aramco. 

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