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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 in the MEG started the week with subdued rates but the sentiment turned around quickly with increased activity as charterers received their stem confirmations for August. The owners reacted by holding back a little and as it...
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Dry Bulk

Mixed picture, but overall negative w-o-w as average earnings soften further to some USD 9300/day. All major Australian miners are picking ships, with resultant marginal improvements on the key West Aust/China route to a still miserable ave...
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The VLGC market continues to be FIRM although we have seen a slight drop on the Baltic VLGC Freight Index the last two days. Looking into August the market still looks very tight with ample spot tonnage available so we do not expect the fre...
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Chinese yards have actively secured orders for stainless steel chemical carriers, thus strengthening their position in this segment. Nordic Tankers went to Avic for potentially 12 vessels, whilst Hantong, traditionally a builder of bulkers,...
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Fearnleys Monthly Report
Monthly Bulk Fleet Update
Oil and Tanker Market Quarterly
Dry Bulk Market Quarterly
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Activity Level
VLCC: Firm
Capesize: Slow
Gas 82,000 cbm: Low
All content copyrighted © 2006 Astrup Fearnley