Conversion, scrapping keep rates firm as demand erodes

Tanker market earnings for the half-year ended September 2008 firmed 43.7%, accelerating the strength seen in the previous 6 months. A combination of large tankers being withdrawn for conversion to offshore structures or bulk carriers and scrapping kept vessel supply constrained even as high crude and product prices chipped away at demand. Clarkson Research Services Ltd. detailed the reasons behind these market movements as well as offered forecasts of future market direction in its Autumn 2008 “Shipping Review and Outlook: A Half-Yearly Review of the Shipping Market.”According to Clarkson data, the tanker market, consisting of both modern and early-1990s VLCCs, modern Suezmax...

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