World's tanker fleet has banner year

The year 2003 was looking very profitable for the shipping industry, according to Clarkson Research Studies' Autumn 2003 Shipping Review & Outlook, which published in fourth-quarter 2003.The report says tanker earnings peaked in the spring and fluctuated downward over the summer.Shipbuilding was having a record year, fueled partly by economic growth in Asia, especially China.Up and down yearIn the spring, tanker rates were very buoyant, driven by a series of "wild cards" that Clarkson says boosted demand and tightened the market. Tanker earnings peaked in the spring and then moved down over the summer.Despite a brief revival in September, earnings by October had fallen to $20,000-25,0...

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