I am new to tanker investing and was hoping someone with more experience in the space could help me out with something. Last week I saw on tankerindex that spot rates for suezmax were around 24k. This week they are 54k. Are these wild swings normal or is this a short-term supply/demand anomally?
Among other things, the article tells you how people scramble to add to their stockpiles whenever they forsee a possible disruption in crude supplies. This usually results in a short-term spike in tanker rates.
Now, if you've been following the news, then you know the UN recently passed sanctions on Iran. Until the sanctions were actually passed, no one was really sure if Iranian Oil shipments would be restricted, embargoed, or (in the worst case,) blockaded.
There's no blockade yet, but the possibility of a naval blockade remains very real. The US Navy is in the process of depoying two aircraft carrier battle groups to the Persian Gulf:
Political uncertainty and fear are two of the factors that can sometimes affect tanker rates. An upwards spike is indeed an anomaly this time of year, when tanker rates usually start to soften up a bit.