UK shipbroker Braemar is predicting much more action in tanker sale-and-purchase and chartering arenas in coming months.

The sector weakened during the London-listed company’s financial year that ended on 28 February, as successive waves of coronavirus-related restrictions reduced global oil demand, particularly for diesel and jet fuel.

However, despite this, Braemar achieved fixture growth that was a fifth better than the preceding 12 months.

And markets are now strengthening, particularly for clean carriers, chief executive James Gundy said.

“Tankers are looking good, especially on the product side,” he told TradeWinds.

Braemar has invested in that niche, setting up in Geneva 18 months ago.

Gundy said this office is doing “very, very well”.

He has “a few more ideas” that he is looking at to boost the tanker operations, which are a traditional strength of the company.

“It has always been a strong part of our business. I understand it,” Gundy said.

He pointed out that secondhand values are moving very strongly, because of the spot market looking “optimistic”.

Old versus new

“The newbuilding market is so far forward, to 2025, and prices are very strong,” Gundy said.

He explained that a 10-year-old aframax will now change hands for somewhere in the mid-$40m range — the price a new ship would have cost at the end of 2019 for delivery today.

“That shows you roughly where the market is,” Gundy said.

Braemar reiterated that Russia’s actions in Ukraine threaten to withdraw crude supply from an already under-supplied market.

“A global stock build, once oil prices have eased, is likely to support tanker trades, and the desk is well positioned for when this occurs,” the company said.