The upcoming maiden voyages of two VLCC tankers currently located in the Asia-Pacific region raise the possibility that the string of diesel-laden VLCC-sized exports to west of Suez destinations continues in coming months.
The new-build VLCC tanker Tonegawa was observed conducting sea trials in previous weeks and is now sailing towards Fujairah, for expected arrival at the end of this month or beginning of August, Vortexa data show.
Once there, one option is that it could pick up diesel via ship-to-ship (STS) transfers offshore the UAE port.
The tanker’s anticipated activity resembles that of the VLCC Xin Hui Yang, which loaded in late June. She took on diesel via STS transfers offshore Fujairah and is now headed to Gibraltar where she will likely discharge via STS transfers, possibly as early as the end of this month.
Another new-build VLCC tanker, the DHT Bronco, has also been touted by market participants for a possible diesel loading on its maiden voyage. Alternatively, it could load crude oil.
The tanker was also in recent weeks performing sea trials and is currently berthed in Ulsan, South Korea at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard.
Previous new-build VLCCs to have loaded in 2018 are Maran Aphrodite, DHT Stallion and New Eminence. All three tankers began loading diesel from the Asia-Pacific or the Middle East region during April-May.
The New Eminence started discharging diesel offshore west Africa in July. The other two VLCCs completed their discharges in Europe earlier this month, while the Xin Hui Yang is yet to do so.
The tally of VLCCs loading diesel on their maiden voyage could rise to six this year so far should Tonegawa and DHT Bronco also load the product.