More tankers are being circulated among brokers for demolition, according to UK brokerage Gibson.
Sales to Indian and Bangladeshi breakers have accelerated with scrap prices on the sub-continent around $100 a tonne higher than this time last year, Gibson noted.
Moreover, 15-year-old secondhand prices are now getting closer to converge with rising lightweight prices.
As well as the traditional summer lull for tanker rates, owners are worried about the slew of newbuilds still to deliver into what is already a weak tanker market. Another pressure is that storage employment opportunities for VLCCs are also diminishing.
According to data from another UK broker, Clarkson, tanker scrapping has increased by 155% year-on-year on an annualised basis, with 4m dwt reported scrapped in this sector so far in 2017.