Is the sun setting on the oil tanker industry, hastened into history by Covid-19?

The largest decline in seaborne oil trade since the 1980s came in 2020 as the pandemic took its toll on energy demand. Clarksons Research estimates last year’s volumes at 2.77bn tonnes, down from 3.04bn tonnes in 2019.

Tanker owners initially enjoyed record earnings in the first few months of the pandemic. But freight rates later collapsed and have stayed in the doldrums since the third quarter of 2020 due to lacklustre shipping demand.