J. Lauritzen removes 15 bulk carriers amid weak market

Denmark’s J. Lauritzen has removed 15 bulk carriers from its fleet amid a weak shipping market marked by low freight rates across all dry bulk vessel sizes.

The company said that during the first quarter, it has reduced the average number of controlled bulk carriers to 68 compared to 83 in the same period of last year.

For gas carriers, the average operated number reached 31, which was in line with the first quarter of 2018.

Mads P. Zacho, ceo of J. Lauritzen, commented that “global trade tensions together with problems affecting Brazilian iron ore exports negatively impacted dry cargo demand with larger freight rate declines for bulk carriers of all sizes”.

The market for handysize bulk carriers was weak throughout the first quarter and the handysize index ended approximately 30% below the level recorded one year ago. The market for small gas carriers saw a minor decline for ethylene and pressurised tonnage in the first quarter compared with the year-ago period, whereas the market for semi-refrigerated tonnage was up by 35% on last year.

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Meanwhile, J. Lauritzen reached an agreement with Teekay LNG Partners implying that seven modern ethylene gas carriers, owned by Teekay LNG, would join Lauritzen Kosan’s pool of ethylene carriers.

With the addition of the Teekay fleet, which was completed early May 2019, the Lauritzen Kosan pool now has 21 ethylene carriers.

Posted 05 June 2019

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Lee Hong Liang

Asia Correspondent

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