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It’s Time to Wave Goodbye to Bonanza Oil Trade

  • Traders booked dozens of tankers to store oil glut for profit
  • Rising demand, OPEC+ output cuts have stopped the trade
U.S. Dollar Advances Against Other Currencies

Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

An oil trade that made its way into Donald Trump’s press briefings -- and earned big profits for commodity merchants and tanker owners alike -- is fading away with every dollar that the price of crude rallies.

When oil demand cratered earlier this year because of the coronavirus and a flood of cargoes, the U.S. president talked about “oil all over the oceans.” It was a reference to the tens of millions of barrels of unwanted crude that traders were hoarding on ships at profit. Tanker owners including Frontline Ltd. and Euronav NV also reaped windfalls as a frenzy to book the ships on storage charters drove up rates.