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Unipec spreads its focus to suezmax and aframax segments

Unipec, the world’s dominant dirty spot charterer, has been making waves this year in the suezmax and aframax sectors beyond its normal VLCC remit.

The Chinese subsidiary of Sinopec strengthened its position at the top of the dirty spot chartering league according to a worldwide survey on the first six months of tanker chartering activity in 2019 carried by New York tanker brokers Poten & Partners.

Unipec has dominated the Poten statistics since 2012, but what’s noticeable in 2019 is its sudden growth in tanker sizes other than VLCCs.

In the suezmax segment, Shell took over the top spot from Chevron. Unipec was described in a Poten report out late last week as a “notable newcomer”, becoming the fourth largest suezmax charterer. This growth was mainly due to increased suezmax imports from Libya and more intra-Asian shipments.

In the aframax segment, Shell beat Vitol into top spot with Unipec leaping into third spot as it became more active in Atlantic trades.

In total, Unipec accounted for a dominant 17.2% of all dirty cargoes in the first half, with Shell in a distant second place on 4%.

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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