Product-Tanker Fleet Seen Poised to Expand Amid Demand Concern

The supply of tankers that carry refined oil products is set to expand at the same time that the outlook for demand is sparking concern, said Henry Curra, head of research for shipbroker ACM Shipping Group Plc.

As many as 96 of the vessels were ordered last year and 12 so far this year in response to stronger ton-mile demand, gauged by multiplying cargo size and distance traveled, according to Curra. Following are comments he made today at Marine Money’s 4th Annual London Ship Finance Forum.

Refined products such as gasoline are referred to in the industry as clean, while dirty denotes crude oil.

“In 2010, we were very bullish on clean product carriers; 2011, we were quite bullish clean product carriers. Since 2012, we are starting to get worried.

“The demand picture for Medium Range and Long Range tankers is actually not that encouraging. In terms of import volumes, they’re actually dipping. It’s only ton-mile demand that’s saved those product carriers.

“There’s increasing ton miles out of the U.S. Gulf with exports to Europe and to Latin America, and Europe’s pulling in more jet and gas oil from India and the Middle East. So we still have a positive story ton miles.”

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