Are Lower Fuel Prices Increasing Maritime Speeds?

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Watching oil stock prices rally last week had us checking our AIS data to see if we might find some patterns to explain the fluctuations. While energy analysts argued the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stock price rally was largely due to premature investor optimism stemming from relaxing COVID-19 lockdown orders, we wondered how lower bunker fuel costs might be affecting the maritime industry. The two major issues wreaking havoc in the oil industry remain unsolved: storage scarcity for crude oil and weak demand. Could lower bunker prices mean ships are traveling at higher, less fuel efficient speeds?

Percentage of active/moving VLCCs

Average Speed of VLCCs

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