The tanker market has seen fluctuation during the first month of 2020. The latest monthly report issues by OPEC recently stated that the dirty tanker freight rates in January had seen a disparity in coast movement since September, this time giving back almost half the gains made in the previous month. However, the market remained optimistic in the first-month of 2020 and the rates remained around 50% higher than the same month last year.
The recently spread deadly Coronavirus has seen temporarily affected the tanker market especially at the end of January 2020 disrupting trade with China, the world’s largest crude importer, and is certain to weigh on rates in February. Seasonal factors are also a reason in the decline
After rising steadily since September 2019, clean tanker rates fell back in January but remained slightly higher than the same month last year. Rates benefited from a strong start to the year, but have fallen in recent weeks, driven by seasonal factors.
Global spot fixtures have shifted down slightly in January, declining around 0.10 mb/d or 0.5% m-o-m, but down 1.6 mb/d, or 8%, compared to the previous year’s levels.
Crude arrivals were largely positive in January. Arrivals in the Far East increased 3% m-o-m and remained broadly in line with levels seen the same month last year. Arrivals in Europe were up 1% or 140 tb/d higher m-o-m but showed a stronger 9% or 1 mb/d increase y-o-y. Arrivals in North America were broadly unchanged from the previous month but were 12% or 1.3 mb/d lower y-o-y.