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Tanker spot market down 16% in 2020 on Covid-19 impact

Photo: Ayotunde Oguntoyinbo - Unsplash Ayotunde Oguntoyinbo - Unsplash.jpg
Spot market activity in tanker shipping was down 16% year-on-year in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, according to analyst Poten & Partners.

And because China was less impacted by Covid-19 than Europe and the Americas, Unipec strengthened its position as the top charterer in 2020, controlling 18% of total dirty spot cargoes compared to 17% in 2019.

“For many people, it will be a relief to put 2020 in the rear-view mirror. It was a year like no other, with many extraordinary events, some highs, but mostly lows,” Poten & Partners wrote.

“Some of these events reinforced the rankings, while others changed them,” the analyst stated.

In the VLCC segment, Unipec reported spot fixtures of close to 700 – a figure close to the combined number from the next 12 largest VLCC charterers.

A total of 2,266 reported VLCC spot fixtures in 2020 was recorded, down 7% from 2019.

In the suezmax segment, ExxonMobil came out on top from number four spot in 2019, while Shell moved down from number one to number four. The Indian Oil Company (IOC) jumped from sixth position to second.

The total number of reported suezmax spot fixtures in 2020 was 2,055, 23% down from 2019.

For the aframax segment, Vitol, Shell and BP maintained their positions on top, while Trafigura entered the top 10 in sixth spot.

The total number of reported aframax spot fixtures fell 20% in 2020 to 2,983.

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