A dirty trading vessel can now earn $15,000/day more than a clean trading vessel on the spot market, according to our basket of round voyage earnings. This is leading to announcements – typically in the earnings statements of publicly listed CPP tanker owners – of an exodus of LR2s from clean to dirty trade.
We had been optimistic for a dirty tanker market recovery to start by the fourth quarter of the year premised on an end to the de-stocking cycles and an end to OPEC’s production cuts. The recent surge has overshot our expectations. We expect the market to weaken in the middle of 2019, but beyond that we are more constructive on crude tankers than we were before.