More than 40 VLCCs ordered in the first five months of the year

VLCC orders this year have now topped 40 units, including options, according to Fearnleys. The Norwegian broker revealed this startling statistic in its latest weekly report, while covering the latest VLCC deal – a pair ordered by Hong Kong’s TCC Group at Hyundai Heavy Industries.

While many owners – including the high level set of panelists at the recent Maritime CEO Forum – remain wary of ordering for fear of upsetting a delicate supply/demand picture for this crude segment, others, notably the Greeeks, have been making the most of the cheap prices on offer from Asian yards desperate to fill their empty drydocks.

Moreover, it appears prices are now heading up. A new 310,000 dwt VLCC now costs $80.5m, up by around $500,000 since March when prices hit their lowest levels since 2003, according to Clarkson Research data.

For those not ordering, the focus has been on consolidation instead. Euronav boss Paddy Rodgers, for instance, told this site in late April: “We are not going to a shipyard for a year or two. The world fleet is not old enough to warrant ordering.”

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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