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    2007 likely to be another busy year says broker

    News // February 23, 2007

    Broker Offshore Shipbrokers Ltd (OSL) says it expected 2007 to be another busy year in the North Sea.

    "The beginning of January saw the traditional slow start to the spot market, however this was not long lived and by the middle of January rates were once again rising sharply with availability
    remaining tight through until the end of the month," noted the company in its latest report on the market.

    "The first week of January saw a number of vessels idle in port after a quiet spell over the festive period, rates for PSVs were around the 9,000 level with AHTS slightly higher at circa 20,000 though still well down from the levels seen towards the end of 2006. The second week of January saw rates beginning to creep up with PSVs fixing at the 14,000 level and AHTS reaching 40,000."

    By the middle of the month, said OSL, rates had risen sharply in response to a tightening market with levels doubling over the space of a few days seeing PSVs fetching 31,000 levels and AHTS fixing at around the 80,000 level.

    This remained the situation right through until the end of the month with PSVs continuing to fetch circa 30,000 and AHTS ranging from 60,000 to 100,000.

    "Looking at the months ahead, the general consensus amongst owners and brokers alike is that 2007 will once again be a very busy year with rates approaching those levels seen during 2006. Many charterers are preparing themselves for this already by securing Term PSVs to avoid the high rate levels expected on the spot market during the summer months. This is starting to have a knock on effect with larger PSV tonnage beginning to look extremely scarce during the summer months, which is being reflected in the rising rates now being offered for term work," OSL concluded.


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