Freight rates in the tanker market remained firm in April, considering seasonal weakness in activity and rates in general, Drewry’s Tanker Insight shows.
Sluggish fleet growth and improved tonnage demand resulted in high utilisation rates, supporting firmness in freight rates. Despite the shutdown of refineries for maintenance in Europe, stable demand from eastern destinations kept rates steady.
“The unprecedented firmness in rates has led to strong activity in the second-hand market as buyers have been trying to lay their hands on immediate tonnage to garner higher earnings,” Drewry said.
However, the product tanker fleet surged on increased deliveries and movement of many swing Chemical/Oil carriers into product segments to take advantage of the firmness in oil carrier rates while chemical rates were unattractive.
According to Drewry, the longterm prospects for the tanker market look better, but if the recent frenzy in newbuilding orders continues, it might hurt the market in the coming years.