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    US market remains flat, says broker

    News // March 19, 2004
    Shipbroker Marcon says there continues to be "little enthusiasm" in the spot market in the Gulf of Mexico, "with most wondering when things will ever turn around."

    "The yearly optimism produced in the winter doldrums is back with owners hoping for a pick up of activity in the spring. The market for OSVs in the Gulf continues to remain flat with little or no appreciable change in the daily hire rates, or utilisationlevels since our last market report of October 2003," said Marcon in its latest report.

    "Daily rates for OSVs in the class under 200ft LOA remain at about the US$$4,000/day level with about US$500 higher or lower depending on terms, and length of contract. The deepwater market has also continued along at a flat level with rates essentiallyunchanged from October 2003 and the US$$6,500/day - 15,000/day level," said the broker.

    "Continued relatively high commodity prices should point towards revived activity in the US Gulf, especially relating to gas, but this is something that has been said before, and it still remains to be seen as to whether we are reaching a point of no return for some class of vessel owner/operators."

    "The smaller 'work horse' standard for the industry, the 180ft OSV, has received continued pressure over the past several years from the newer/larger capacity boats. Between the 145-150ft mini supply boats on the lower end and the 200-220ft OSV of today,many of this class (180ft) are 20 years and older, and will have a tough time making a go of it."

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