As the dust settles on November crude exports, the impact of winter storms appears to have halted a three-month consecutive streak of record monthly exports. But there is one record achieved in November – that of a high watermark for daily crude exports. On 17 November, after a lone 693 kb loading on the previous day from Houston, some 12.45 Mb were loaded across five ports – the highest volume since the US crude export ban was lifted in late 2015.
Crude ton-miles began the year trending below the five-year average, but since VLCC exports began to rise in June, growth has been rapid. While the order of the major VLCC routes has been consistent compared with previous years, there have been upheavals in the Suezmax and Aframax markets following the Russian war in Ukraine. Crude tanker demand is on course to finish the year on a high, but the prospects for next year are less rosy.