Aframax in the front seat

Tropical Storm “Gordon” tightens the tonnage availability

Aframax owners is currently enjoying remarkably higher rates due to the bad weather in the US Gulf, up almost 15% over night. The average global freight rate has surpassed $16.000 a day, up around $3.000 from last week.

The Aframax market has been on the strong side the last couple of weeks, with a strong demand trans-Atlantic and a tight tonnage list. The refineries are running at close to maximum capacity and the demand for oil and oil products are on the rise. The current weather conditions will have a positive effect on the freight market and might help the “high season” kick-off sooner than expected.

Aframax earnings best among tankers

Crude Tanker Earnings 2018

The Aframax earnings has had the best development among tankers so far in the second half of 2018 and is expected to continue into the historically strong 4th Quarter. However, we expect the larger tankers to catch up at the end of this quarter as they will benefit from the Iran sanctions.

American demand

The US Inventory report at the end of August came out on a positive note and pushed the oil price further up. This supports a further OPEC supply increase in the months to come.

Highlights from the report:

  • End-user demand (implied) topped 22.0 mbd for only a second time ever
  • Gasoline demand hit an all-time high
  • Refineries keep pumping with utilization at 96%
  • Exports rebounded a sharp 0.6 mbd, ending a string of declines in August

Sources: Atlas Maritime, Charles R. Weber & SIPA Maritime