THE TANKER MARKET
The market rate for a VLCC trading on a standard ‘TD3’ voyage between the Arabian Gulf and Japan in the fourth quarter of 2011 was WS 54, representing an increase of approximately WS 7.5 points from the third quarter of 2011 and a decrease of approximately WS 4 points from the fourth quarter of 2010. Present market indications are approximately $20,000/day in the first quarter of 2012.
Bunkers at Fujairah averaged $672/mt in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to $664/mt in the third quarter of 2011; an increase of approximately $9/mt. Bunker prices varied between a low of $629/mt at the beginning of October and a high of $711/mt on November 14, 2011.
The International Energy Agency’s (“IEA”) January 2012 report stated an average OPEC oil production, including Iraq, of 30.53 million barrels per day (mb/d) during the fourth quarter of the year. This was an increase of 0.6 million barrels per day compared to the third quarter of 2011 and an increase of 1.1 million barrels per day compared to the fourth quarter of 2010.
IEA further estimates that world oil demand averaged 89.53 mb/d in the fourth quarter of 2011, which is the same level as the previous quarter, and a decrease of approximately 0.25 mb/d from the fourth quarter of 2010. Additionally, the IEA estimates that world oil demand will average approximately 90 mb/d in 2012, representing an increase of 1.2 percent or approximately 1.07 mb/d from 2011.
The global VLCC fleet totalled 594 vessels at the end of the fourth quarter of 2011, up from 584 vessels at the end of the previous quarter. 11 VLCCs were delivered during the quarter whilst one was deleted. The orderbook counted 123 vessels at the end of the fourth quarter, down from 131 orders from the previous quarter. Three new orders were placed during the quarter, and the current orderbook represents about 21 percent of the VLCC fleet. According to Fearnleys the single hull fleet stands at 30 vessels.
THE TANKER MARKET