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    Demand in the North Sea significantly lower, say Norwegians

    News // May 24, 2002
    Demand for supply vessels in the North Sea fell back in the 1st quarter of 2002 compared to the 4th quarter of 2001 by approximately 9 per cent, says Norwegian operator Farstad, and was at a lower level than for the same period in 2001.

    Farstad says the number of vessels departing the North Sea during the 4th quarter of 2001 and the 1st quarter of this year has been higher than expected. This has given a utilisation ratio for the entire North Sea tonnage of approximately 89 per cent, says Farstad, in spite of the decrease in demand.

    The average utilisation ratio for the 4th quarter of 2001 was 93 per cent, compared to 90 per cent in the 1st quarter of 2001. As a consequence the spot market rates have been rather slack.

    Farstad says it believes that the major factor affecting the market in the next few months will be the time it takes for the market to absorb the many newbuilds due to be delivered in the 4th quarter of 2002 and the 1st quarter of 2003.

    In Australia and the Far East, the level of activity during the 1st quarter has remained on the same level as for the 4th quarter 2001 and it is expected to remain stable for the coming period. Farstad says it believes Brazil and West Africa will still require additional tonnage, and says it believes activity in these and other markets outside the North Sea will decide when the market balance in the North Sea will be re-established.

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