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Tanking sector looks to ride the storm

Policy changes, the economic slowdown and the vagaries of the oil market are assailing the global tanking business. A recovery could follow, but not until around the start of the next decade

Reductions in upstream and downstream investment because of low oil prices and tightening credit availability are likely to undermine long-term growth in the tanker market. In the nearer term, falling consumption of oil this year and production cuts from Opec will also result in lower tonnage demand. If this is not evident yet, it is because short-term factors have helped give some temporary relief to the tanking sector. A seasonal recovery in OECD oil demand at the start of the winter season helped. And low freight rates have also provided temporary support to tonnage demand so far in 2009. So has the oil market's contango – which makes prices for near-term delivery oil cheaper than oil to

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