May saw slight improvement in conditions but UK PSV market still in bad shapeNews // June 8, 2015
Broker Westshore says May saw conditions for anchor handlers improve a little with a pick-up in fixtures (84
in May compared to 62 in April) resulting in utilization rising to an average of 71 per cent for the month, but conditions in the UK sector - especially for PSVs - remains dire.
"Though we are yet to see any great improvement in the market, May was certainly more tolerable than what’s been seen thus far in 2015 from the vessel owner’s perspective at least," said Westshore in its latest report on the North Sea market. "There were periods in May when the market tightened significantly, but this did not translate into any dramatic increase in rates.
"We put this down to poor market sentiment affecting owner’s confidence in being as bullish as they could be. However, as the summer months approach an improved market can be expected.
However, Maersk has taken four of its AHTS vessels in lay up in Invergordon, and a couple of others have picked up short term work for wind or subsea projects. "The decrease in available spot tonnage against the ramping up of
summer projects should see an improvement," said the broker.
"For the PSVs the market has definitely worsened on the UK side. In Norway however several owners have stated publicly that a vessel that cannot be traded profitably is better off in layup.
"As a result vessels have been announced as going into layup every few days. At time of writing there were just four available PSVs in Norway, compared to 20+ in the UK. But while availability has improved in Norway the effect on rates has yet to be felt."