2023 set for lowest tanker deliveries this century

Hard pressed tanker owners, going through one of the worst earnings periods this century, can take some solace when looking at what is set to deliver.

According to data from tanker broker Gibson, 2023 newbuilding deliveries are running at a 25-year low with 2024 deliveries also looking to be relatively low.

Given the massive amount of containership and LNG orders last year, most bluechip yards are now fully booked for 2023 meaning the tanker fleet will register minimal growth over the next couple of years.

According to statistics from Clarkson Research Services, shipyard orders last year were skewed towards container ($42bn) and gas ($21.6bn). The orderbook of the entire merchant fleet edged up to a “manageable” 9.4% by dwt of the fleet, Clarksons noted in a recent market report with tankers on 7.3% and bulkers on 7% while for containers and LNG the ratio is much higher at 23%.

Analysts at BRS have urged tanker owners to get scrapping.

“If scrapping is front loaded in 2022, it will help to sure up fleet fundamentals. Meanwhile, on the demand side, it appears that it will take until at least 2H22 before demand will approach its pre-pandemic level which suggests that the first half of the year is unlikely to change the fortunes of currently-beleaguered tanker owners,” BRS stated in its most recent weekly tanker report.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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