Covid-19 and the energy trade: Evidence from tanker trade routes

Co-authored with Nektarios Michail. The paper has been published in The Asian Journal of Shipping and Logistics.

We employ a cointegration setup to explore route-specific off-equilibrium deviations related to Covid-19 that have affected clean (petroleum products) and dirty (crude oil) tanker freight rates, over and above the expected macroeconomic reactions.

We find that the additional deviation caused by Covid-19 is route-specific. In particular, deviation caused by Covid-19 is found to be more significant for clean tankers, with an average impact of 0.15, an expected outcome given that these products are more reliant on economic developments because of their uses.

The clean tanker impact is more evident in Japan-related routes, while no specific pattern can be extracted with regards to the additional off-equilibrium Covid-19 deviation for dirty tanker routes.

Results suggest that time-charters and hedging against the stock markets can help ship-owners ameliorate demand-driven shocks.