New soft oils trade brings a boost for Tankers


Increased diversification into veg and palm oil expands the customer offering

A newly established IMO products department focusing mainly on soft oils, has secured a significant number of palm and vegetable oil cargos just two months into operation.

The move into soft oils brings a major boost for Tanker Operator, which is currently facing a difficult products market, impacted heavily by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It was good timing for us to diversify in this way,” says Søren Huscher, head of Tanker Operator.

“Global oil demand is down 8-9% and tanker rates are extremely low. The soft oil cargos complement our usual oil product cargoes very well.”

One of the first customers to book the new service was Singapore-based Golden Agri Maritime. The company is one of the largest palm oil charterers in the world, shipping palm oil from plantations in Indonesia to Europe, the US, India and China.

Esther Lee, chartering manager at Golden-Agri said she went with NORDEN-owned Norient Product Pool (NPP) for its flexibility.

“The main challenges in the soft oils market worldwide are the numerous changes on the supply/demand front which impacts our trading program. We have found that NPP has a flexible mindset and is willing to explore different options and ideas together with us.”

For the future Lee said the newbuilding programme at NPP was of interest due to the fuel efficiency of the new vessels. “They are modern, eco vessels and our aim in 2021 is to lower overall carbon emissions on our oil transportation.”

The new trade is being headed by Rasmus Gjerrild - a specialist in the soft oils market - who joined NORDEN in September.

“We’re very quickly building up a big presence in this market,” said Gjerrild.

“NPP has a lot of vessels but has never been focused on this sector. Customers are extremely happy to hear that one of the world’s biggest pools of MR tankers is joining the market full-time.

“The size of our fleet means we can service clients in both the petroleum products and soft oils market, and offer pool participants the best of both worlds,” he added.