The orders for new product tankers increased in the first eight months of 2023. According to BIMCO analysis, new orders have reached a 10-year high, especially agreements have been signed for the construction of 140 product tankers, with a total transport capacity of 10.72 million dwt.
The last time a tonnage of more than 10 million dwt was contracted over an eight-month period was in 2013.
It should be noted that the Greek shipowners are also very active in ordering new tankers, either crude or product, since, according to “Naftemporiki”, up to now they have placed orders for 101 tankers, with a total value of 6.9 billion dollars.
According to BIMCO’s analysis, newbuilding contracting activity over the past five years has been low at around 5.46 million dwt per year. In addition, the order book for product tankers reached an all-time low of 9.67 million dwt in December 2022 – the smallest order book for product tankers since June 2001. Due to the consistently low order book, the fleet had an annual growth of 2.6% between 2018 and 2023. Deliveries from the current order book will remain low until 2025, when they are expected to exceed 8 million dwt for the first time since 2009.
However, BIMCO estimates that the recycling of older ships will moderate future fleet growth, although markets are expected to remain strong until at least 2024. This will make shipowners to keep ships in service for longer. In addition, sanctions on Russian oil exports from G7 countries appear to have created new trades, giving older oil product tankers a chance to be in demand.