Sky-high rates for VLCCs down to larger shadow fleet, longer journeys

Of the 900 active VLCC/ULCC supertankers worldwide, 174 (about 20%) were currently operating in a way which technically breaks sanctions against Iran, Venezuela or, increasingly, Russia, according to TankerTrackers in a tweet.

The independent shiptracker said that this meant there was greater demand for the remaining amount. It said that demand would remain strong if more ships moved from above-board to shadow status.

For suezmaxes, estimated that 15.2% of the fleet was breaking rules, while for aframaxes it estimated 11.3%.

Prices for second

-hand tonnage have doubled in the year since war in Ukraine began.

Describing itself as an “independent online service that tracks and reports shipments of crude oil in several geographical and geopolitical points of interest” was responding to Splash 247’s report on March 9th that VLCC spot rates were pushing higher, approaching $100,000 a day.

Although attributes the increase in rates to the decline in the number of ships in the above-board market, it should also be noted that this was concomitant with there being a decline in the amount of oil in the above-board market. The increase in rates could be attributed more accurately to the need to move the oil that is being produced a greater distance (and more often by sea than by pipeline). Russian oil is now heading to Asia and the middle east, while, Europe’s imports have been arriving by sea from anywhere but Russia. Total sea miles have therefore increased significantly.