Tankers: signs of stability in the decline in crude oil exports from Kuwait

THere are signs of stabilization in the tracks of crude oil exports from Kuwait after the decline in the past eighteen months. In its latest weekly report, ship broker Banchero Costa said, “2020 was a very negative year for the crude oil trade. Total loadings in the 12 months of 2020 fell -6.2% year-on-year to 2,032 million tons, according to ship tracking data from Refinitiv The year 2021 isn’t much better yet. In the first nine months of 2021, the global seaborne crude oil trade fell -5.7% year-on-year to 1,453 million tons. The worst is that so far there are little indications that things are turning around. U-turn Even in the third quarter of 2021, global crude oil shipments reached 489.9 million tons, which is a slight increase (+1.5% y/y) on the low (extreme) levels of the third quarter of 2020, but still down by 7.3 % compared to the third quarter (before Covid) of 2019.”

According to the shipbroker report, Kuwait is the fourth largest exporter of crude oil in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the UAE. In 2020, Kuwaiti ports accounted for 4.8% of global crude oil shipments. This covers cargo loading at Mina Al-Ahmadi (by far the main port of loading in Kuwait) and Mina Saud. About 9 percent of the volumes loaded at Mina Al-Ahmadi are transported in supertankers, and about 8 percent are loaded on Suezmax. In the 12 months of 2019, Kuwait’s marine crude oil exports reached 101.3 million tons.

Source: Panchero Costa & Sea Resort

However, in 2020, global demand was limited due to shipments affected by the pandemic. In the 12 months of 2020, Kuwait managed to ship only 97.5 million tons of crude oil, down -3.8% year-on-year. For comparison, Saudi Arabia’s exports fell -3.2% y/y in 2020, Russian exports fell -13.1 percent last year, and from West Africa they fell -9.2% y/y. Therefore, Kuwait’s performance was above average last year. This was undoubtedly helped by the strong focus on Asian markets. Up to 92% of Kuwait’s crude oil exports are shipped east of Suez. The only major exporter that performed well last year was the US, where exports increased +7.1% year-on-year.”

Panchero Costa added that “things have not improved much so far in 2021, but at least they seem to be stabilizing. In the first nine months of 2021, seaborne crude oil exports from Kuwait decreased by -6.6% year-on-year compared to the same period in 2020, at 70.0 million tons, compared to 75.0 million tons in the same period of 2020, and 75.2 million tons in 2020. In the same period of 2019. In the first quarter of 2021, Kuwait exported 22.4 million tons, which represents Down -18.7% year-on-year from 27.5 million tons in Q1 2020, but essentially flat to 22.5 million tons in Q4 2020 and 23.9 million tons in Q3 2020. Q2 2021 saw 23.9 shipments million tons from Kuwait, which increased slightly +1.0% y/y from the second quarter of 2020, and decreased by -2.9% from the second quarter of 2019, maintaining the trend..the third quarter of 2021 remained flat in volumes as 23.8 million tons were shipped from Kuwait, which decreased slightly by 0.3% year-on-year from Q3 of 20 The already weak 20, down -6.7% from the second quarter of 2019, maintains the trend. September 2021 saw no particular change in trend, at 7.8 million tons, which is fairly average for the year and technically +5.8% more than very bad September 2020 but down -7.1% from (pre-covid) September 2019. In terms From destinations, shipments, as mentioned earlier, exceed 90% to Asia.

The shipbroker concluded his analysis by noting that “In the first nine months of 2021, Kuwait shipped 22.1 million tons to mainland China, which is a 13.5% increase year-on-year from 19.5 million tons in January-September 2020, as well as more. 16.1 million tons in January-September 2019. China accounts for 31.6% of Kuwait’s total imports of crude oil this year.Kuwait also shipped 9.8 million tons to South Korea, down -29.7% year-on-year from 13.9 million tons In the same period of 2020, and -38.5% less than 15.9 million tons in January-September 2019. India’s third largest destination, 9.5 million tons or 13.6% of Kuwait’s total exports.Shipments from Kuwait to India increased by +30.2% on a basis Annually in January-September 2021 from 7.3 million tons in January-September 2020, also up +19.3% from 8.0 million tons in January-September 2019.
Nikos Rosanoglu, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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