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    Support vessel market "seeing some of highest rates ever paid"

    News // May 16, 2006

    Offshore Shipbrokers Ltd (OSL), the well known UK-based broker, says†the North Sea spot market during April saw what must be some of the highest rates ever paid for AHTS with levels reaching £68,000 for rig move operations and†PSV owners feeling equally bullish with cargo run rates reaching £37,500.

    "The beginning of the month saw rates remaining high following on from a busy market during the end of March with AHTS fetching £50,000 and PSVs around the £30,000 level. This continued until the middle of the month when the market tightened further and rates hit the £60,000-£65,000 levels for AHTS with PSVs regularly fetching £35,000. The market then began to slacken over the following 10-14 days with AHTS rates falling to circa £35,000-£40,000 levels and PSV rates remaining steady at around £25,000," said OSL in its latest monthly report on the market.

    "May then got off to a busy start once again with rates on the rise and AHTS returning to the £55,000 levels seen during April and PSVs at around the £30,000 level. The main reason for the uplift in rates was due to a busy period of activity combined with a shrinking pool of available vessels as tonnage is beginning to leave for summer project work," said OSL.

    "As the weeks continue we expect to see the number of vessels trading the spot market reduce further with rates reaching even higher levels than seen so far this year. April was undoubtedly a taste of what can be expected throughout the summer months and we expect to see periods where several charterers are pursuing a handful of available vessels," OSL's report said.

    The†company said the term†market saw a good number of fixtures and extensions during April however there are now only a handful of outstanding requirements. "Given the lack of uncommitted tonnage available, particularly during the summer months, rates being offered by owners for term work are also continuing to rise sharply," OSL concluded.

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