VLCCs back in ‘mad’ territory with scrubber-less tankers taken by the Saudis on subs for more than $200,000 a day

In one of the most sensational days of tanker trading ever VLCCs climbed back into six-digit territory as Saudi Arabia moved to flood the markets with oil, taking a huge swathe of ships on subs. 

VLCCs, trading in the doldrums for around $18,000 last Friday, were booked on subs today for up to $241,949 a day as Saudi Arabia and Russia fight it out for oil supremacy. More remarkably, Saudis were willing to pay top dollar for the most prompt tonnage available, with non-scrubber fitted ships actually reaping higher bids than their HSFO burning sister vessels. 

As with six months ago, however, the sensational spike seen on Tuesday might not materialise. The last time there was a spike close to this scale – in September last year – the deals for tankers on subs at the most stratospheric levels failed to materialise.

“It’s completely mad. Days like these are unheard of, and the cash put down on the table for these tankers are frankly mad and unsustainable,” one veteran London-based shipbroker told Splash today after a frenzied 12 hours of fixing. 

Saudi Arabia finds itself in a fight with Russia over crude after negotiations to limit production output came to an acrimonious end over the weekend. 

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.


Back to top button