Confirmed sales of secondhand tankers may be thin on the ground, but the buying appetite remains healthy.

And some prospective owners are even chasing vessels with forward deliveries stretching into next year, according to one analyst.

Eva Tzima, head of research at Greece’s Seaborne Shipbrokers, noted good enquiry levels for modern ships and newbuildings, despite a distinct lack of delivery slots before 2027.

“Even more notably, on the sale-and-purchase front, transactions involving vessels offering forward deliveries, even in 2025, have started to increase,” she said.

She described this trend as “probably the biggest attestation to the increased confidence tanker owners still have deep down”.

The tanker market has kicked off the summer with a pull-back on rates for clean carriers and further premiums for most dirty product routes, Tzima said.

But volatility and a potentially lower earnings environment over the summer is “hardly worrying shipowners with an exposure in the sector”, she explained.

“Indeed, several tanker investors have been admitting during the Posidonia week that they have a lack of clarity regarding the prospects of the sector for next year,” Tzima added.

“Yet somehow, there are very few that are happy to decrease their tonnage exposure, and those that do will only sell for a hefty premium,” she said.

Tanker S&P markets have again been relatively quiet, barring a big announcement this week from New York-listed Scorpio Tankers.

Four separate buyers

Scorpio has offloaded its five oldest tankers in deals worth $179m: four built in 2012 and one in 2013.

The scrubber-fitted 2012 vessels are the 50,000-dwt STI Garnet, STI Onyx, STI Ruby and STI Topaz.

These are going for $142.5m to three separate unnamed buyers.

The 50,000-dwt STI Beryl (built 2013) meanwhile has gone to Great Eastern Shipping of India for $36.6m.

Greece’s Allied Shipbroking said the secondhand tanker arena is “generally stable”, even if the Posidonia shipping forum limited the amount of visible deal-making being concluded.

“MRs were by far the most active sector on the secondhand front, with a number of resales bringing this total even higher,” the brokerage added.

Aside from MRs, the other tanker sectors remained “somewhat quiet”, Allied said.