Euronav achieved record-high 2Q20 earnings, it reported in its financial update. The company, which operates shipping and storage of crude oil, said it benefited from soaring demand for oil storage at sea as buyers struggled to find storage space on land for surplus crude during a global economic slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Euronav reported 2Q20 earnings before EBITDA at $354.9 million, up from $327.9 million in 1Q20.

But in the same update, it warned floating storage demand had eased sooner than it expected. It said the market pivoted earlier than it had originally expected towards 2019 consumption levels, driven by oil inventory and reduced supply and demand for crude oil.

Chief Executive Hugo De Stoop said: “Tanker markets continued to deliver strong earnings throughout Q2 and into the early part of the third quarter.”

As worldwide demand for oil increased, crude held on tankers fell below 150 million bbl by the end of June, down from more than 180 million bbl in late April, according to IHS Markit.

But it said mounting coronavirus cases have recently undercut market confidence in a demand pickup.

Euronav cited an estimate by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that there will be an inventory build of over 500 million bbl from the dislocations of the first-half of the year to add to the 200 million bbl currently in floating storage.

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10th August 2020