Things are looking quite bleak for the tanker sector, which has been caught in duldrums during the first quarter of the year.
‘Tanker owners have to cope with multiple negative factors, which are dragging rates downwards. Low oil demand and production are the main reasons, but this is not the only reason of concern. Perhaps the most dangerous issue to be dealt is the tanker fleet’s potential growth. Gibson’s latest report highlights this danger exactly. Indeed, analysts said that if tanker rates plunged, then owners would be looking for ways to dispose, renegotiate and postpone their shipyard contracts. Gibson said that as “one would expect, to date the drybulk market has seen the most cancellations, bu relatively few have emerged in either the crude or the clean petroleum products sectors. Perhaps, this is because the tanker market has only recently experienced the squeeze in rates already encountered in other sectors. However, we do anticipate more cancellations as the pressure intensifies on the market. What can confuse the issue is when owners cancel orders for legitimate contract violations, such as lack of refund guarantees or late delivery, but the shipyard announces that they intend to complete the vessel anyway”.