World hot spots, Asian economy boost tanker industry

A stronger-than-expected Asian economy helped boost the worldwide tanker industry to a positive first quarter 2003.That quarter, according to Clarkson Research Studies, London, in its semiannual Shipping Review and Outlook, was one of the best ever for tankers, when the low cost of capital is taken into account. "Earlier predictions turned out to be wrong," says the report.The Atlantic segment had a poor 6 months, but Asia, especially China, exceeded all expectations.The report says the "bust to boom" spanned exactly the 6 months between reports. The tanker earnings index rose steadily to $50,000/day in March from $12,000/day in September. This was driven by a unique combination of events...

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