Jhe tanker market benefited from a decrease in tonnage supply, combined with a significant increase in crude oil loadings. In a recent weekly report, ship broker Banchero Costa said that “2021 has been a very negative year for crude oil trading. Total loadings in the full 12 months of 2021 were down -4.4% year-on-year to 1,887 million tonnes, excluding all cabotage trade, according to vessel tracking data from Refinitiv.
“However, things reversed quite dramatically in 2022, despite soaring oil prices and risks of economic recession. In the first 8 months of 2022, global crude oil loadings increased by +8.2% YoY to 1,342.4 million tonnes, well above the 1,240.4 million tonnes from January to August 2021, but slightly below the 1,343.2 million tonnes of the same period of 2020. Exports from Saudi Arabia are up +20.2% year-on-year to reach 237.3 million tonnes in January-August 2022, above pre-Covid levels. Sea shipments from other GA countries are also up +9.9% YoY to 340.2m tonnes over the same period, but still below pre-Covid levels. Exports from the United States increased further by +22.0% year-on-year to reach all-time highs of 105.7 million tons,” the shipbroker said.
According to Banchero Costa, “Russia is the world’s second largest maritime exporter of crude oil after Saudi Arabia, accounting for 11.1% of global shipments so far this year. In the first 8 months of 2022, Russia managed to ship 148.4 million tons of crude oil (excluding domestic cabotage), up +16.1% year-on-year. This follows two relatively disappointing years during the Covid pandemic. In the 12 months of 2020, crude oil exports by sea from Russia decreased by -15.1% year-on-year to 191.0 mln tonnes, compared to 225.1 million tonnes in January-December 2019 In the 12 months of 2021, Russia’s seaborne crude oil exports rebounded somewhat by +3.8% YoY from 2020 to 198.3 million tonnes. However, this was still well below the volumes seen before 2020. The rebound in exports seen this year, however, brings volumes back to almost pre-Covid levels, with 148.4 million tonnes in January-August 2022 compared to 150.7 million tonnes in January-August 2019 and 139.6 million tonnes in January-August 2018”.
The shipbroker added that “around 68% of the crude oil shipped from Russian ports so far in 2022 has been loaded into Aframaxes, 31% into Suezmaxes and none into VLCCs. The reason is that most expeditions are quite short. However, the balance is shifting towards greater tonnage. In 2021, only 21% of shipments were loaded on Suezmaxes and 78% on Aframaxes. Most of the increase in exports this year has come from the Baltic and Black Seas, while exports from Russian ports in the Far East have actually declined. In January-August 2022, about 58.7 million tons (about 40%) were shipped from Russian Black Sea ports, compared to 50.3 million tons in the same period of 2021. Almost all came from the port of Novorossiysk. Novorossiysk’s destinations were mainly the EU (34.2 million t in January-August 2022), Turkey (5.6 million t), Israel (1.0 million t), but also China (3 .4 million t), South Korea (3.7 million t), India (7.4 million t). In January-August 2022, about 49.1 million tons (about 33%) were shipped from Russian Baltic Sea ports, compared to 36.9 million tons in the same period of 2021. Of these , 28.4 million tons from Primorsk Jan-Aug 2022, 20.5 million t from UstLuga. The Russian Baltic Sea destinations were mainly the EU (29.5 million t January August 2022), but also Turkey (4.9 million t), China (3.5 million t) and the India (9.7 million t). In January-August 2022, about 10.7 million tons (about 7%) were shipped from ports on the Russian Arctic coast, compared to 9.3 million tons in the same period of 2021. Of these , 3.9 million tons from the port of Murmansk and 6.2 million tons from the SFO of Umba. Destinations from the Arctic coast of Russia were mainly the European Union (8.4 million t), but also the United Kingdom (0.4 million t) and India (1.2 million t) . In January-August 2022, about 30.0 million tons (about 20%) were shipped from Russian Far Eastern ports, compared to 30.8 million tons in the same period of 2021. Of these- ci, 24.7 million tons of Kozmino, 3.1 million tons of De Kastri, 2.0 million tons of Prigorodnoye. The destinations of the Russian Far East were mainly China (21.0 million t), South Korea (5.6 million t), Japan (1.4 million t), India ( 1.4 million t)”, concluded Banchero Costa.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide