The glut of empty oil supertankers is growing at a torrid pace, as tanker demand is falling substantially short of vessel supply:
There are 20 per cent more very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, for hire over the next 30 days than there are cargoes, according to the median estimate of five respondents drawn from shipbrokers, shipowners and derivative brokers surveyed by Bloomberg News.
The surplus was 16 per cent last week.
In a report emailed today, Martin Sommerseth Jaer and Erik Nikolai Stavseth, Oslo based analysts with Arctic Securities ASA, said: “With more ships entering the market, rates remain in the doldrums.”
They added: “We remain pessimistic to the tanker market outlook in the near term.”
While oil demand post-crisis could be to blame, the problem is ultimately caused by excessive shipbuilding, with just too many supertankers being built. For some perspective, here’s a Transport Trackers chart of the supertanker orderbook (the new supertankers in the process of being built), as a percentage of the current global tanker fleet, below.
You can see how the amount of tankers (VLCCs) being built remains historically high relative to the fleet that already exists, even if the situation is better then pre-2009: