Euronav posts massive surge in Q1 profit
Antwerp-based tanker shipping company Euronav is reaping large profits from strong underlying tanker dynamics having reported $225.6 million of profit in the first quarter of 2020.
The figure is a massive surge when compared to a profit of $19.5 million in Q1 2019. The company’s revenue almost doubled from $232 million in the same quarter last year to $416 million in Q1, 2020.
Euronav attributed the record jump in earnings to a very robust freight market driven by increased crude supply and buoyant crude storage demand. As previous reports showed, tankers have been in high demand for storing crude amid a shortage of on-shore storage capabilities and plunging demand for oil due to COVID-19 shutdowns.
The build-up of crude inventory has negatively impacted the demand for seaborne crude oil transportation, but Euronav said that this has been over-compensated by demand for floating storage, resulting in skyrocketing freight rates.
The freight rates in the second quarter remain high, with VLCC rates reaching $ 95,000 per day and Suezmaxes earning $65,500 per day.
“Demand for tanker shipping is currently high and management believes will continue, albeit likely to remain volatile, throughout 2020,” Euronav said.
The company believes a substantial oil contango market should be expected over the following 12 months amid gradual economic recovery.
“The longer these dynamics persist the longer and stronger the optionality for tanker owners will be to convert market dynamics into longer duration charters,” the company added.
“Markets will become more challenging when a transition away from the current advantageous tanker market structure occurs, but we believe should not impact negatively for a prolonged period given the current age profile of the world tanker fleet coupled with the lowest order book on record in the last 23 years.”
Specifically, the order book for tankers is at 7 percent of the global fleet and there is a growing number of tankers that will likely become candidates for scrapping by next year due to their age and incompatibility with new regulations.
On the other hand, there seems to be little incentive to order new ships due to the ongoing economic situation and insufficient financial backing to support such orders.