Winter arrives in the North SeaNews // December 18, 2014
Seabrokers says the notoriously difficult North Sea winter season has arrived "with a vengeance," with owners enduring tough times on the spot market in recent weeks.
The broker said AHTS vessel rates actually held up quite well in the first half of November, resulting in average fixture levels being higher for the month than they were for the equivalent period in 2013.
However, the second half of November and first half of December have proved to be
extremely difficult for owners, as a host of AHTS vessels returned from seasonal contracts elsewhere at the same time as demand tends to dissipate for the winter.
"This has left more than 30 AHTS vessels prompt available for a prolonged period of time, with rates falling below the £10,000 level for some fixtures," Seabrokers said.
"The PSV market has been in similar shape, with 20 or more vessels frequently
available since the final week of November. There have been spells where availability has started to tighten, however this has been short-lived.
"It will take a more sustained period of tightness in the market if rates are to reach a more acceptable level for owners."