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The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that rates for oil tankers from Europe increased almost sixfold in April. The reasons are geopolitical unrest, which is also related to the war between Ukraine and Russia. Added to this are the sanctions imposed on Russia and the rising prices of marine fuels, also known as bunker oil. Rates for Aframax-sized dirty vessels originating in the Baltic Sea increased from $7.5 per ton in January 2022 to $41.38 per ton in April 2022, while for routes originating in the Black Sea increased from $10.11 per ton in January to $32.10 per ton in April. The rising prices for Black Sea routes are also due to the fact that insurance premiums have increased as Russia and Ukraine border the Black Sea.
Dirty tanker prices on the U.K. Baltic Sea routes rose from $8.53 per ton to $41.38 per ton in April. Smaller Aframax vessels are actually used on this route, but demand on the Russia-China route has increased, resulting in fewer vessels now available. Normally, VLCCs (Very Large Crude Carriers) transport Russian Ural crude to China.
In general, petroleum tankers are divided into two groups: clean tankers and dirty tankers. A clean tanker transports petroleum products with lower sulfur content, including refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, and naphtha. Dirty tankers, on the other hand, transport mainly crude oil, but can also carry high-sulfur petroleum products such as residual fuel oil.