Tanker Owners Fear Quarantine And Refuse To Load From Italian Ports

- Mar 27, 2020-

Due to the fear novel coronavirus outbreak would take place during a period of isolation, some shipowners in the clean tanker market west of Suez refused to load cargo from Italy port.

S & P global Platts, the energy market data provider, said that as the epidemic continues to escalate and spread, the attitudes of market participants are changing and Italy may be excluded from cargo transport contracts in the short term. Some owners said the company would not ship in Italy unless there was a substantial premium on the basis of market prices. The move has deterred some tenants who want to pass on costs.

"We are trying to avoid this situation, but if we can agree on additional fees and obligations, and we need to charter ships, then we can further negotiate," the owner said

A ship broker said he was trying to avoid looking for Italian tankers to place orders because they were too risky. "I have personally ruled out the possibility of leasing Italian ships, and I believe other brokers have taken the same position."

The broker added that other shipowners have now taken a similar position more broadly, which means the overall charter market will tighten as these Italian tankers are excluded.

Alfaship, a Spanish shipping agency, stressed that although Spain is currently in a state of blockade, port loading and unloading operations are continuing, and there are no corresponding quarantine procedures for ships from high-risk areas entering Spanish ports. In general, participants in the Mediterranean market believe that the situation is likely to change rapidly and that the current situation may not continue.