Palm & Veg Report, August 2018

Clean petroleum markets spiked during the middle of last month East of Suez which added some much needed spice to an otherwise bland market. In direct contrast clean earnings West of Suez are worse than awful at the moment. Not surprisingly business in virtually every other sector of the shipping markets has been slow and uninspiring over the last month, leaving us all feeling a little bit like mice in a gas filled maze without an exit! There is little to indicate that shipping fortunes will turn around before the 4th quarter of this year at the earliest and some people appear to have already written off 2018 as another year to forget!
Crude oil prices dropped by more than 4 % in a day during the middle of last month as Saudi Arabia increased its exports to Asia and headlines suggested that the US could also add to the global supply and tap into strategic reserves to stabilize markets when sanctions on Iran come back in to force later this year. This news appears to have reversed the upward trend in bunker prices which will come as welcomed news to ship owners.

James Woolfson