This article is very interesting, revealing many aspects of the international trade in oil. The shadow market for oil from Russia is growing, but there’s probably a limit for it. Some tanker owners and operators will be comfortable with the idea of not using their AIS, and not using the major international P&I clubs and insurance firms. They may use older ships, which are more prone to risk, and are less efficient. They may resort to ship-to-ship transfers, since many large tankers cannot enter ports that are available to them for the shadow shipments. These transfers are inherently riskier, both from accident and pollution standpoints, and will probably lead to accidents.
So Russia may be able to move petroleum, but there may be less cash flow for Russia, and there may be a reduction in overall trade with Russia. These outcomes are what sanctions are trying to create.
This interesting article shows how CargoMetrics is using data on ship lading, IoT readings, and vessel tracking to determine the amount of trade to and from China right now. the Coronavirus problem in China has essentially caused ocean commerce to and from China to plummet since Chinese New Year (CNY).
Bulk shipments such as iron ore and coal have dropped over 40% according to the article. Container shipments out of China have also dropped, probably due to the disruption of work schedules at Chinese manufacturers. There are also issues involving quarantine of ships and cargos due to the virus. The article is especially good when it uses graphs to show the changes.
Of course, this is a great promotion for Cargometrics’ capabilities. I think one would have to look closer to discover how well Cargometrics’s data truly represents the entire range of activity, but the trends shown are certainly marked.
One very interesting fact the article gives is that petroleum imports have not dropped yet; they are up by a considerable amount. This may be due, so they say, to the longer transit times. The ships may have to lie to near Chinese ports when they cannot unload due to the quarantines or port handling issues. The other shoe may yet fall even in the tanker business.