Crude vs. Product Tanker Debate: Advantage Product Tankers?

“The market is shit. Sorry for my French,” said Hugo De Stoop, CEO of Euronav (NYSE: EURN), the world’s largest listed crude-tanker owner.

Speaking on Thursday’s call with analysts, De Stoop was explaining why Euronav is pulling forward required drydockings from H1 2021 and will drydock nine of its tankers — 15% of its fleet — this month and December.

Euronav CEO Hugo de Stoop (Photo: John Galayda/Marine Money)

“When you’re in the drydock, you’re not earning money,” he said. “It’s like those guys retrofitting scrubbers in a market that was absolutely fantastic [in H2 2019]. This is the opposite. This is a good moment, from a market perspective, to not be out there in the market.

“Two months down the road, you could have some event that is not foreseen and the market could be ripping. So, you want to do [drydockings] when you know the market is not very good, and you want to do as many ships as possible.”

Euronav seems to be effectively throwing in the towel on hopes for a strong fourth quarter, even though this period usually enjoys a big seasonal boost.

According to De Stoop, “The usual seasonal backing of improving demand for oil into the key winter period has not gained traction.

“Vessel supply remains elevated. Cargoes are limited with low visibility on cargo programs. Sentiment among owners remains weak when setting freight rates”…

View entirety: Freightwaves