The transport of oil tankers in the world fell 8.5% year-on-year in 2020, to 3,109 million tons.
This volume includes crude oil, oils and chemicals.
Above all, the drop in the transport of oil tankers was due to the blockade restriction applied in several major economies to contain the spread of the virus, which caused a contraction of 4.2% of world GDP during the year.
During 2010-2019, the maritime transport of oils and chemicals increased at an average CAGR of 3.2%, which is strongly correlated with the global average GDP growth of 3.2% per year during the same period.
A sharp decline in maritime trade in 2020 appears to be an outlier.
Pyxis Tankers expects trade to improve with a gradual recovery in demand due to the launch of several vaccines that are expected to support the pace of economic recovery in the future.
The supply of oil tankers is determined by the size of the existing fleet, measured in terms of dwt.
According to Pyxis Tankers, crude oil, oils, and chemicals are essentially transported by four different types of tankers.
First of all, crude oil is transported in unlined vessels, the size of which varies upwards from 55,000 dwt.
Meanwhile, clean products are transported in lined tank trucks that range in size from 10,000 dwt to more than 80,000 dwt and in product / chemical tank trucks that have the capacity to transport both products and certain chemicals because they have a certificate of fitness to transport liquid chemicals in bulk IMO.
This last category represents “oscillating” vessels, with the ability to move between the chemical and product sectors depending on market conditions.
Finally, there is a fleet of specialty chemicals, all IMO qualified, and used primarily in the transport of chemicals and vegetable oils and fats.
The pure chemicals fleet represents nearly 26.7% of all tankers (based on capacity) that can carry products, but because most trade chemicals, it is excluded from the fleet and order book analysis.