Maersk Tankers’ Intermediate pool is delivering strong earnings and attracting new partners. The latest addition – and the third new partner to join in the past year – is Argentina-based Bahia Grande and its vessel, the Ayane.
Product tanker markets continue to see high spot rates and exceptionally high volatility between regions and markets. This offers shipowners the opportunity to secure high earnings, providing they can position their ships to match earning spikes, but it also exposes them to risk if their timing is wrong. Sumit Sabarwal, Lead Charterer for Maersk Tankers Intermediate pool and responsible for the pool’s trading strategy, says: “This is especially true for the Intermediate segment, where most trade is specific to a certain region.”
Maersk Tankers’ Intermediate pool is trading its ships globally, transporting a vast range of products, including clean petroleum products (CPP), dirty petroleum products (DPP), and vegetable oils and easy chemicals (IMO). Most pools in the Intermediate segment trade in one region, but Maersk Tankers’ pool has built its global position on an ability to move the fleet to those markets with the highest demand for tanker trade. It is therefore less exposed to fluctuations in individual markets.
When it assesses that the timing is right, Maersk Tankers moves ships between regions. “We have built this position over the past few years and accelerated it last year to be able to diversify our exposure into more geographical and cargo markets. Especially in the current market environment, where rates and inter-regional volatility have increased significantly, this has proved to be a great strength,” says Sabarwal.
Tanker demand is forecast to rise at the same time as there are fewer Intermediate newbuilds coming into the market. In response, Sabarwal explains that his plan for the pool is to “continue with a diversified portfolio, but to keep monitoring all markets to ensure we position our fleet in exactly the right place and at the right time to take advantage of favourable markets.”
“We are very pleased to welcome Bahia Grande to our pool and are looking to strengthen our global presence further by forging more partnerships around the world.”
Maersk Tankers entered the Intermediate segment in the early 2000s and acquired the Swedish shipowner Broström in 2009. Following the acquisition, the company operated its Intermediate vessels under the Broström brand, largely in Northwest Europe. Today, Maersk Tankers manages around 20 vessels for seven different owners in its Intermediate pool.