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    Strong demand to continue says broker

    News // August 22, 2006

    Broker Offshore Shipbrokers Limited (OSL) says demand for AHTS and PSVs is likely to remain at very high levels and rates will do likewise for the foreseeable future.

    "July’s spot market got off to a good start after a busy June with AHTS rates at the beginning of the month around the £70,000-£90,000 levels. This was not to last however and as the month went on we saw a slow improvement in vessel availability and a corresponding reduction in day rates. By the third week of the month, rates had dropped off to £45,000-£55,000 but this was only short lived with availability tightening once again towards the end of the month and rates rising in response," said OSL in its latest monthly report on the North Sea market.

    "This steady tightening continued into August and at the time of writing, AHTS rates have once again broken new records reaching the £115,000 level. Vessel availability is currently extremely
    tight with charterers having to secure tonnage 7-10 days in advance and often having to fit their operations around vessel availability," said OSL.

    "Looking ahead, this situation isn’t expected to improve much for the next couple of months, with strong demand expected to continue, and only limited vessel availability forecast," OSL reported.

    PSV owners also had a good month in July with rates remaining around the £25,000 level throughout the majority of the month and peaking at circa £37,000 towards the latter part.

    August has also seen PSV rates increasing significantly with levels for latest fixtures having reached £48,000 and recent offers being seen in excess of £50,000.

    PSV availability also looks to remain extremely tight during the remainder of August with only four vessels showing spot market availability, two of these vessels also have further options on their
    current charters and may be extended into September.

    Charterers seem to have been prepared for this, however, and have turned to term charters to cover cargo requirements rather than relying upon the spot market.



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