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NAT books $30m first quarter profit

NAT books $30m first quarter profit
Nordic American Tankers (NAT) has reported a $30.3m profit for the first quarter of 2015, as its suezmax fleet enjoys a strong market.

Time charter equivalent (TCE) rates were around $37,000 per day for the fleet, compared to $24,000 per day in the preceding quarter and $26,300 in the same period 2014.

Net voyage revenue for the period was $69.5m, up from $45m in Q1 2014, and the company has stated that the seasonally-weak second quarter is off to a strong start. Behind the strong figures, the recent drop in the price of crude oil has lifted the tanker market as demand for transportation of oil has risen.

The medium term fundamentals look less promising for the suezmax sector, as its recent fortunes have seen the orderbook to the middle of 2017 swell to 15% of the fleet, or 68 vessels.

For its part, NAT has two vessels on order due for delivery in August 2016 and January 2017, which will bring the company's fleet to 24 ships.

The company continues to try and collect an award of $10.2m from an arbitration hearing with Gullf Navigation Holding (GulfNav) that ended in NAT's favour.