Unipec Leads the Dirty Pack

China International United Petroleum & Chemicals (Unipec) has remained in the lead in the overall ranking of reported dirty spot charterers for 2015 year-to-date (ytd), representing 8.1% of total dirty spot market fixtures thus far, Poten & Partners writes in its weekly Tanker Opinion.

Should the company maintain this momentum during the second half of 2015, its reported dirty spot fixtures could total approximately 164 million metric tons of cargo on an annualized basis, down from a reported 177 million metric tons for full year 2014.

Reuters recently reported that China’s oil imports fell by about 11% in May 2015 from a year prior, likely using crude from storage units to service their refineries, says Poten. Imports into China, however, are expected to increase in the second half of this year, which could bring total seaborne volumes to similar levels as 2014.

Unipec has chartered a reported 248 VLCCs thus far in 2015, representing over 25% of total reported VLCC fixtures. Petrochina, IOC, Bahri and Reliance round out the top 5, accounting for almost 50% of total VLCC reported spot fixtures in the first half of 2015.

Similar to 2014, the Suezmax market has seen a much more even charterer playing field in 2015, with the top 10 representing nearly 45% of the total reported Suezmax fixing activity. Unipec and Chevron are leading the pack with 68 and 67 reported spot fixtures, respectively, with Repsol, Total and IOC following closely behind.

Charterers in the Atlantic basin have maintained their stronghold on the dirty Aframax spot market with Vitol, Shell and BP claiming the top 3 spots. Nearly 40% of 2015 ytd reported spot Aframax fixtures were fixed for the Cross-Med and Cross-UK Continent voyages, as companies like Socar and Litasco are primarily fixing in those respective regions.

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