In the latest sign that the world is simply running out of capacity when it comes to coping with an inexorable supply of commodities,three diesel tankers en route from the Gulf to Europe did something rather odd on Wednesday: they stopped, turned around in the middle of the ocean, and headed back the way they came!
“At least three 37,000 tonne tankers – Vendome Street, Atlantic Star and Atlantic Titan – have made U-turns in the Atlantic ocean in recent days and are now heading back west,” Reuters reported, citing its own tracking data.
The Vendome Street actually made it to within 800 miles of Portgual (so around 75% of the way there) before abruptly turning around. “Ship brokers said a turnaround so late in the journey would come at a cost to the charterer,” Reuters notes.
The problem: low prices, no storage capacity, and soft demand.