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Tankers: China's Unipec top dirty tanker charterer in 2016 - shipbroker

China's Unipec maintained its position as top charterer of dirty tankersin 2016 for the sixth year running, accounting for 13.5% of total fixtures,shipbroker Poten & Partners said in a report released late last week.

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With 878 spot fixtures, Unipec moved 176.111 million mt of cargo lastyear.

Shell, which dominated the rankings before Unipec overtook it in 2012, was second in 2016 with 562 fixtures and a total cargo volume of 65.843million mt.

Vitol was again third in the rankings with a volume of 61.15 million mtover 651 fixtures, followed by Indian Oil Corp. with 248 fixtures.

There were a total of 10,264 spot dirty tanker fixtures in 2015 to move1.302 million mt of cargo, the report said.

The top 20 companies in terms of fixtures had a combined 67.3% share inthe total chartering activity in this market, inching up from last year whenthey had a 66.2% share.

Trader Trafigura continued to improve in position -- last year it enteredthe top 20 rankings in 16th place, and in 2016 it moved up to 11th place.

"In the VLCC segment, Unipec continues to be in a league of its own. In2016, we counted 524 reported fixtures for the Chinese powerhouse, which isthe same volume as the next five largest VLCC charterers combined," said thereport.

"The list also illustrates the growing dominance of China and India ascrude oil importers, since five of the top seven VLCC charterers are eitherChinese or Indian."

The Suezmax segment was largely unchanged, led by Chevron, followed byRepsol and Unipec, but seeing a new entry in the top 10 of Vitol.

Vitol featured as sixth place of the top Suezmax charterers, bumping outPetrobras.

A dominance of trading companies in the Aframax segment was seen.

Vitol remained in first place, followed by Glencore and Shell. Unipecclimbed from eighth place to fourth, while Trafigura rose from ninth to fifth,according to the report.

--Wanda Wang, wanda.wang@spglobal.com--Edited by Jonathan Loades-Carter, jonathan.carter@spglobal.com