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Aframax and Suezmax tankers find support in the Middle East for now

A post by Vortexa


Aframax and Suezmax utilisation out of the Middle East has increased sharply since the start of July.


  • This is in line with tankers in the Russian crude trade singling the Middle East as a destination on ballast voyages in the same month


Both tanker classes seem to be serving the Middle East-to-Med as well as the Middle East-to-India crude markets


  • The increase is stemming from Middle Eastern countries other than Saudi Arabia

  • This, coupled with lower Chinese crude demand has softened VLCC utilisation out of the region slightly

Looking ahead, increased exports from OPEC+ countries (excl. Saudi Arabia) are likely to be limited, which could cause tanker oversupply in the region


Is shipping becoming more "science" and less "art"?


This was a question asked by Roar Adland, Global Head of Research at Ship Broker, Simpson Spence Young in a recent LinkedIn post.


He suggested it’s useful to think of Shipping Data as 3 Layers of information.



The geospatial layer involves standard ship tracking and cargo volume estimates, but location tracking may have gaps.


The commercial layer includes ship's commercial status, charterer details, and rates, with some segments being more transparent than others.


Connecting ship movements to commercial status is often difficult due to lack of direct correlation.


The third layer focuses on human behavior and decision-making influenced by available public and private information.


The interplay of these layers, combined with variations in data coverage, makes data-driven analysis challenging and as a result, Roar believes shipping analysis remains very much an art 🎨



Posted on August 18, 2023.


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