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Tankers: China’s Unipec top dirty tanker charterer in 2016 – shipbroker

China’s Unipec maintained its position as top charterer of dirty tankers in 2016 for the sixth year running, accounting for 13.5% of total fixtures, shipbroker Poten & Partners said in a report released late last week.

With 878 spot fixtures, Unipec moved 176.111 million mt of cargo last year.

Shell, which dominated the rankings before Unipec overtook it in 2012, was second in 2016 with 562 fixtures and a total cargo volume of 65.843 million mt.

Vitol was again third in the rankings with a volume of 61.15 million mt over 651 fixtures, followed by Indian Oil Corp. with 248 fixtures.

There were a total of 10,264 spot dirty tanker fixtures in 2015 to move 1.302 million mt of cargo, the report said.

The top 20 companies in terms of fixtures had a combined 67.3% share in the total chartering activity in this market, inching up from last year when they had a 66.2% share.

Trader Trafigura continued to improve in position — last year it entered the top 20 rankings in 16th place, and in 2016 it moved up to 11th place.

“In the VLCC segment, Unipec continues to be in a league of its own. In 2016, we counted 524 reported fixtures for the Chinese powerhouse, which is the same volume as the next five largest VLCC charterers combined,” said the report.

“The list also illustrates the growing dominance of China and India as crude oil importers, since five of the top seven VLCC charterers are either Chinese or Indian.”

The Suezmax segment was largely unchanged, led by Chevron, followed by Repsol and Unipec, but seeing a new entry in the top 10 of Vitol.

Vitol featured as sixth place of the top Suezmax charterers, bumping out Petrobras.

A dominance of trading companies in the Aframax segment was seen.

Vitol remained in first place, followed by Glencore and Shell. Unipec climbed from eighth place to fourth, while Trafigura rose from ninth to fifth, according to the report.
Source: Platts

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