The tanker market is reeling under the pressure of changing crude trade flows and tonnage oversupply, but could soon be faced with yet another peril. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal noted that “we are now into the second half of 2018, which so far has not been a fruitful year for tankers. With 2020 quickly approaching we need to consider the implications arising from the new fuel directives. 2020 seems to be the year that there will be a noticeable increase in the cost of moving cargo, with the forces driving costs upwards being either scrubbers and/or the increased demand for cleaner fuels. The need for cleaner fuels will not only boost demand for product tankers though. Given the much higher crude oil quantities the production of these cleaner fuels requires compared to HFO, a boost in crude oil demand and a consequent support on crude tanker freight rates appears to also be in the cards”.

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