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“Markets February 2020.”

The market in 2020 started well in many regions outside of Asia, with rates firming across the board, namely on the back of the bunker switch. However, in comparison, Asia failed to gather much momentum and slipped into a lower gear. Fingers have been pointed at the Coronavirus as it has brought demand and the economy in China almost to a standstill. Following the Chinese New Year, the Coronavirus has extended the country’s downtime by several weeks. Quite a few cities in China remain on lockdown, and with a workforce unable to return to factories, production lines and output fall far short of normal, but also domestic demand currently just isn’t there.

The reduction in demand from retailers has created a ripple effect upstream towards suppliers resulting in very little drawdown on inventories. With high inventories at shore based tanks, there has been..

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