Downward revision of the number of MR ships, but still longer waiting times in the south
In the second week of October, the VLCC MEG-China route is trending upward. However, the sustainability of this positive trend remains uncertain due to mounting concerns stemming from geopolitical tensions that are casting a shadow over the energy sector. Notably, Israel's conflict with Hamas has ignited apprehensions of a potential surge in oil prices, with the possibility of breaching the $100 per barrel mark within a matter of weeks, or even days, should the situation in the Middle East escalate further. Currently, the benchmark Brent crude oil price hovers around $88 per barrel, marking a 4% increase since the onset of the Hamas-Israel conflict. Current projections indicate that oil prices may fluctuate within a range of $80 to $100 per barrel in the forthcoming months.
Meanwhile, when assessing the congestion at the Panama Canal, the situation remains particularly challenging in the southern region for MR tankers. Nevertheless, there are initial indications of a potential decrease in the number of vessels waiting and the duration of waiting days.
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