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Good tanker market sees black ink for NAT

Good tanker market sees black ink for NAT
Nordic American Tankers (NAT) reported a $1m profit for the fourth quarter, and a slashing of its annual loss from $105.4m in 2013 to $10.2m in 2014.

Fourth quarter net voyage revenue revenue more than double between 2013 and 2014, from $20.4m to $43m, as a sustained drop in the price of oil increased demand for its transport.

The strong tanker trade has continued into 2015, with the company stating in its earnings release that, "So far rates achieved in Q1 2015 are well above the $30,000 per day range or about 40% higher than we achieved in 4Q2014."

The company states that its vessels' cash break even rate is around $12,00 per day. It also said that the contango trade, where oil traders buy oil and store it in vessels ready for sale at a later date, continues to take capacity out of the market and drive up rates.

NAT has a fleet of 24 suezmax tankers, including two on order for delivery in 2016 and 2017. It expects to finance the vessels from its own resources. The company had working capital and undrawn credit of around $332m at the end of 2014.

The tanker outfit's investment in sister company Nordic American Offshore (NAO) returned a dividend of $2m on 5 February.