The global chemical tankers market is poised for significant growth in the coming years, driven by a surge in economic activity and a remarkable rise in sea-borne trade. As the world recovers from the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the chemical sector has experienced a resurgence in manufacturing and trading activities, particularly in developing economies. This uptick in the import and export of chemicals has had a profound impact on economic development and has paved the way for substantial opportunities in maritime trading.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), over 80% of international trade volume is conducted via sea routes. Moreover, the World Trade Organization reports that seaborne trade has not only rebounded but has also exceeded its pre-pandemic levels in the first two quarters of 2021. This resurgence in global trade, especially seaborne trade, has generated increased demand for chemical tankers, which play a pivotal role in transporting dangerous materials, toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and temperature-sensitive chemicals.
The changing dynamics of global trade flows have further accelerated the growth of the chemical tankers market. Recent geopolitical events, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent international sanctions, have reshaped trade routes and led to an incremental demand for tonnage and an increase in miles traveled. This shift in trade flow has directly contributed to the expansion of the chemical tankers market.
IMO II Chemical Tankers Take Center Stage
The demand for IMO II chemical tankers, specifically designed for transporting chemicals requiring stringent preventive measures, has witnessed a substantial uptick. These tankers are utilized to transport bulk chemicals like animal/vegetable oils, bio-based lubricants, methanol, alkenes, and ethanol, among others. The growing adoption of IMO II tankers is expected to significantly contribute to the value growth of the chemical tankers market.
Asia Pacific Emerges as a Key Growth Hub
Asia Pacific is poised to lead the chemical tankers market in the coming years, driven by accelerated growth in the refining and petrochemical industries. Key countries such as China and India are expected to play a pivotal role in this growth. India, the largest importer and second-largest consumer of edible oil, is witnessing substantial growth in this sector. In addition, the chemical industry in India is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.3% by 2025, further bolstering the chemical tankers market in the region. Asian countries like Korea, China, and Japan, known for their shipbuilding capabilities, are also major players in the production of stainless steel chemical tankers.
The global chemical tankers market is witnessing heightened competition, with key players actively engaging in acquisitions, new product launches, collaborations, partnerships, and increased research and development activities. Notable developments include Hafnia Ltds acquisition of a fleet of 32 IMO II tankers, the partnership between Golden Stena Baycrest Tankers and IMC’s Aurora Tankers, and Shenghang Shippings acquisition of two chemical tankers.
Prominent companies in the global chemical tankers market include Stolt-Nielsen, Bahri Chemicals, Odfjell SE, Seatrans Chemical Tankers, Navig8 Chemicals, Nordic Tankers, Wilmar International, Tokyo Marine Asia Pte Ltd., Mitsui O.S.K Lines, Nanjing Shenghang Shipping Co. Ltd., and IINO Kaiun Kaisha Ltd.
The global chemical tankers market is set to witness sustained growth in the foreseeable future, driven by expanding trade volumes, evolving trade routes, and the increasing need for specialized vessels to transport chemicals safely.
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