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    April sees busy start to North Sea supply vessel market - rates rise rapidly

    News // April 13, 2006

    The spot market during March got off to a healthy start following on from the high rate levels seen during the end of February, and looks likely to remain busy throughout April, according to Offshore Shipbrokers Limited (OSL).

    In its latest monthly report on the market, OSL said: "The first week of the month saw PSVís being fixed for circa £25,000 with AHTS fetching up to £45,000. The market then continued to remain tight for the following two weeks and by the middle of the month rates had increased further with AHTS fetching £55,000 and PSVs around the £25,000-£30,000 levels. The last couple of weeks of March then saw a slight lull in the market with rates falling to circa £10,000-£15,000 for PSVs and £20,000Ė£25,000 for AHTS."

    April has got off to a very busy start indeed, said OSL, and at the time of writing availability for both AHTS and PSVs was extremely tight with rates rising to levels not seen for many years.

    "PSVs are currently being offered at £35,000-£40,000 levels and AHTS regularly fetching £50,000," said OSL. "Norsk Hydro have been particularly hard hit during March and April, firstly when securing vessels for the Rig move of Bideford Dolphin they chartered Maersk Achiever, Olympic Pegasus and Highland Valour at NKr 695,000 each (circa £58,000)."

    "During the first week of April, they chartered Maersk Achiever once again, however, this time for cargo work, at NKr575,000 (circa £48,000). These are undoubtedly amongst some of the highest rates ever obtained for rig moves and cargo runs," OSL explained.

    OSL said the market also looks set to remain extremely busy throughout the remainder of April and with the summer construction season just about to get off to a start, a number of both AHTS & PSVs are expected to leave the market causing things to tighten further.

    "Given expected levels of demand and lack of availability, this year could well see the highest vessel rates ever being paid for spot work," OSL concluded, noting that the term market also continues to be busy with ongoing high levels of rig activity stimulating a steady stream of fresh requirements.

    "With vessel availability tightening up, particularity during the summer months, finding suitable tonnage with clear availability to meet charterers needs is becoming somewhat challenging," said OSL.


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