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Saturday, December 16, 2017

POINTS OF VIEW

What do Christina Carlsson and Harald Svensen have in common? Or what puts Chris Horrocks and Marita Turmanovsk at arm’s length? 

The results of last year’s competition at the annual dinner have been analysed. The winner(s) will not be known until 30 March (which was agreed as the date at which rates and prices will be set for the purposes of the competition) and will not be announced until INTERTANKO’s Annual Dinner during the Athens Tanker Event. 

However, in the meantime, the results from the 135 question forms completed have provided some fascinating reading on the thoughts and forecasts of the cream of the tanker industry.  

Forecasts of spot Worldscale rates for VLCCs AG/Japan saw replies ranging from W12 to W155 – and remember this was done a year ago when rates were around the W100 mark. Christina Carlsson and Harald Svenson were among those who came up with some of the lowest forecasts, while a trio of brokers (Peter Lilley, Martin Stopford and John De Santis) were among the highest. However more than thirty were between W70 and W80, which is where rates have been heading recently. Christina’s husband Lars, who had just handed over as Chairman of INTERTANKO at the time, was W20 higher than his wife. 

Forecasts for oil demand growth range from 0.15% to 5.8%. Six were in at less than 1% and five at more than 5%. 16 people were between 1.4 and 1.6 which is where the correct answer lies.  

Similar accuracy (or lack of it) in forecasting the newbuilding price for a 47,000 dwt products tanker saw prices ranging from USD 28m to  USD 48m. Lars and Christina were much closer this time – and both were pretty bullish. 

Recycling was the biggest forecasting failure of this elite gathering of tanker people. Estimates for million tonnes deadweight of tankers recycled in 2004 varied from 1.5 to 50. Just 10 people guessed between 8 and 9 million which is the band for the right answer. But then who would have guessed in April 2004 that, in the year leading up to the entry into force of the new MARPOL single-hull phase-out, there would be so few tankers scrapped? And who would have guessed that rates would have held up at such strong levels for virtually the whole year?

The Annual Dinner will see revealed the overall winner whose forecasts varied least from the fact - and the winners in each category. 

And how will this year’s forecasts look?