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At the turn of the century, oil production in the North Sea peaked at about 6.3 mb/d. During 1Q09 output was about 4.4 mb/d - a decline of about 30%, or 1.9 mb/d, and the outlook is not bright. This could, however, become a very positive stimulus to tanker demand.

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It is a Riddle…

...wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma...to partly quote Winston Churchill in his famous speech about the Soviet Union in 1939. Now, we believe it is appropriate to use his words when describing the shipbuilding market these days. The market is flourishing with rumours, statements, and proclamations of all sorts these days. But what is the true situation? Sadly, we think nobody knows.

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Ordem e Progresso!

Nobody would argue strongly against the assertion that China has almost single-handedly been the main driver behind the past five years’ fantastic dry bulk market - this was especially true in the Capesize market with its almost insatiable appetite for iron ore. What now? We observe some ominous trends.

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Old Habits Die Hard

After the disastrous accident in South Korea on the 7th of October 2007, where more than 66,000 barrels of crude oil was spilled into Korean waters, governments and oil companies in various countries cried out with promises to stop using single hull tankers. The picture of oil slick beaches, dying sea birds and several hundred thousands of volunteers’ working day and night to clean up the spill was broadcasted all around the world. With demonstrations by local fisherman who lost their livelihood and general public outrage, the South Korean government indicated that they would reduce the usage of single hull tonnage and ban single hull vessels from 2011, or 2015 with permission from flag and port states. South Korean GS Caltex and STX Energy followed up by banning single hull vessels from 2010 from their import program. Other Asian nations followed suit with the Philippines banning single hull vessels from April 2008. China and Japan also stated that they would reduce the usage of single hull vessels into their ports.
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Market Update Updated 01.01.1970


The VLCC market limped along recent level for most of the week since last Wednesday until yesterday when owners managed to put a halt to charterers’ rampage. Rate level for VLCC MEG/East was in few hours pushed up some 6 ws-points due to a ...
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Dry Bulk

Dull and without much direction as iron ore and coal volumes fail to live up expectations. An abundance of prompt tonnage in Far East, not daring to gamble on the long Brazil rounds, compete fiercely for the few stems available ex Australia...
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Another uneventful in the VLGC market is over, and we can only hope for a more dynamic market at the start of fourth quarter. The spot rates did not change much despite the softer sentiment last week. However, it looks as if relet tonnage w...
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Another four VLCCs contracted by Chinese owners at domestic yards. Greek owners Maran Tankers placed an order for potentially up to six Suezmaxes at DSME's Mangalia yard in Romania, whilst Thenamaris went to Sungdong for two firm LR2 type p...
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Fearnleys Monthly Report
Monthly Bulk Fleet Update
Oil and Tanker Market Quarterly
Dry Bulk Market Quarterly
World Pure Car Carrier Fleet

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Activity Level
VLCC: Firmer
Capesize: Slow
Gas 82,000 cbm: Low
All content copyrighted © 2006 Astrup Fearnley