The tanker carriers' hopes for a sustained rebound depends to a large extent on a growing US import of crude oil as the extraction of shale gas in the US gradually ceases to be profitable.
"Continued expansion of refinery capacity in Asia is likely to maintain growth in the global oil trade over the next five years. But demand from Asia alone will not be sufficient to sustain the improvement in tonnage utilisation. The only alternative source of growth is a recovery in US oil imports, especially when declining European refinery capacity will mean lower import volumes to EU countries," said Rajesh Verma, lead tanker shipping analyst at Drewry in an update published in the agency's Tanker Forecaster newsletter.
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