China becomes a global firefighting market "firefighting team"
Release date:2015-02-26

The tanker market is on fire, and the Chinese VLCC super fleet that sailed to the Middle East has become a "firefighting team."

The Wall Street Journal reported that China’s international oil price plunged to buy oil, and the freight rate of oil tankers rose accordingly. The benchmark sea freight rate for the Middle East-Japan route hit a six-year high in the middle of the month.

According to data from the Baltic Shipping Exchange, the daily rent of tankers in the Middle East to Japan shipping line increased to US$97.489 million, the highest level since 2008. Just six months ago, the sea freight rate was less than 20,000 US dollars, and it was unable to achieve the breakeven of the tanker operation.

Since June this year, international oil prices have fallen by nearly 50%, and for the first time since May 2009, they have fallen below $60 a barrel. The sharp drop in oil prices has attracted large buyers such as China, which has become a catalyst for oil tanker freight increases, and has also brought benefits to the maritime industry, which has continued to slump in recent years. The Financial Times reported that Canaccord Genuity analyst Noah Parquette commented on the hot tanker shipping industry: "Some people call this a firefighting team because the tanker market is really hot."

In late October, Bloomberg reported that as the oil price plunged to stimulate Asian countries' hoarding plans, records of ship tracking data showed that the VLCC sailing to China set a new record. According to the statistics of IHS Maritime, 83 VLCCs have recently traveled to China, setting a record high in the past five years. According to statistics from the Baltic Exchange, about 166 million barrels of oil were shipped to China; this is from 2011 10 The highest monthly record of transportation of oil.

Now, the January shipment plan has been launched, the chartering activity has increased, and the possibility of a six-figure daily income from the Middle East to Asia benchmark route is becoming a reality. According to the data of the exchange, the daily income of the last VLCC reached 100,000 US dollars or July 2008. Ship brokers said that the shipowners are now in high spirits and are working harder to push up freight rates on the Middle East to Asia routes.

In November, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said that in the past three months, China’s oil stocks used as strategic reserves have increased by 35 million barrels. Bloomberg estimates that if international oil prices remain around $60 a barrel, increasing imports of crude oil through the sea would save China nearly $20 billion a year. According to energy data supplier Argus Media, China imported 6 million barrels of oil per day from January to November this year, much higher than the average daily import volume of 500,000 barrels in the same period last year.

Both analysts and tanker carriers are optimistic, as tankers have fewer orders and will have daily shipping costs of more than $40,000 over the next few years. The Financial Times expects that the maritime industry's earnings will increase further in the coming months as the oil futures premium increases. Since the near-term oil contract price is lower than the forward price, traders will want to use the tanker to hoard more oil in order to make a profit in the future.