The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+), closely monitors global inventories.
At the end of February, the volume of refined products held on stationary tankers for over 10 days stood at 19.2 million barrels, down 77 percent from a peak of 84 million last May, IHS Markit estimates showed.
A year ago, traders were struggling to find storage capacity, and prices surged as fuel consumption plummeted. Earnings for product tankers surged to record highs above $100,000 a day last May, versus less than $10,000 currently.
Remote salt caverns in Scandinavia and unused US pipelines and railcars were pressed into service. But now, capacity is again becoming available in Northwestern Europe, the Mediterranean, Middle East and North America, brokers have said.
“Parties are giving notice to terminate contracts by April-May,” said Krien van Beek, a broker at ODIN-RVB Tank Storage Solutions in Rotterdam.
Brokers in the United States are also seeing lower prices offered for storage of crude and products.
“In January the unrelenting price run-up (in oil futures) commenced, and that scared people away who had been considering taking on storage positions,” said Ernie Barsamian, chief executive of The Tank Tiger, a US terminal storage clearinghouse.
For more information visit www.opec.org