2008 has been ‘the best year ever’ for tanker owners, according to leading broker RS Platou.
‘According to its tanker index, which is derived from six different sizes of crude and product carriers, average daily earnings for owners were $64,000. This figure is marginally higher than 2004 levels which previously held the record, stated an RS Platou report. The report pegged suezmax and aframax earnings for this year at $67,200 and $49,800 per day respectively. According to the Norwegian brokerage, both product and chemical tanker rates “have bucked the general trend in shipping of slumping returns, particularly in the dry-bulk and container shipping sectors,” reports said. Other brokers Tankerworld spoke to said they agreed with the report from RS Platou. They said 2008 saw several instances of counter-seasonal strength in spot tanker rates which pushed earnings for many owners to record levels. This counter-seasonal strength in spot rates has been attributed to heightened oil demand from the US, China and India and rising exports from tonne-mile intensive OPEC producers.