President Donald Trump is proving to be good for tankers, delegates attending last week’s Maritime CEO Forum in Singapore were told.
The event, held at Singapore’s iconic Fullerton Hotel, gathered a stellar line up of panellists and attendees.
While quick to distance themselves from the US leader politically panellists at the tanker session all maintained that Trump’s first 100 days in office had shown clearly he was pro-energy. Pipeline approvals were cited as was the make up of his cabinet with a number of energy figures holding senior positions, most notably Rex Tillerson, formerly the boss of ExxonMobil, who now serves as secretary of state.
In terms of the markets Frans van de Bospoort from DVB Bank set the scene, saying he could see crude tanker rates heading north this year by 10 to 20%, while product and chemical tankers will remain flat and under pressure.
Van de Bospoort’s crude tanker predictions were eagerly accepted by Kevin Mackay, president and CEO of Teekay Tankers, who said he’s take them: “Every day of the week and twice on Sundays”.
Mackay questioned why Greeks were returning to the yards this year for VLCC orders. The Teekay boss said the young global average age profile of the VLCC fleet did not warrant new orders.
Morten Arntzen, executive chairman at Team Tankers, took issue with van de Bospoort’s flat outlook for chemical tankers, saying that no other sector had such a small orderbook.
Captain Rajalingam Subramaniam, president and CEO of Malaysian giant AET Tankers was circumspect on prospects. AET’s diverse fleet allowed him to discuss all sectors, and like Mackay, the tanker veteran was adamant that no orders should be placed as the supply/demand equilibrium is fragile across the board.
The Maritime CEO Forum was sponsored by Cobham, Dualog, DVB Bank, Gray Page, Q88, ShipServ, Transas, Veritas Petroleum Services, V.Group and Wartsila. The next forum takes place during Hong Kong Maritime Industry Week at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in the heart of Central in Hong Kong on the afternoon of November 22.