Suezmax caught in economic squeeze

Utilization is up for Suezmax tankers, one of the more usefully sized vessel groups (120,000-200,000 dwt) in the oil and gas tanker industry. But the world's economic malaise is nevertheless holding down Suezmax shipping rates.Current crude oil shipping patterns and the vessel's size have made it ideal for some major routes, but consumption in those markets remains in the doldrums with higher rates nowhere in sight. Click here to enlarge imageThat's the recent opinion of shipping consultant Poten & Partners Inc., New York, which says recent history of Suezmax Worldscale (WS) rates seems to "fly in the face of reason." Since early 2002, fixture activity has improved, while rat...

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