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Asian optimism pushes tanker orders to new peak

Asian optimism pushes tanker orders to new peak

London: Optimistic tanker sentiment, particularly amongst owners in Asia, is driving tanker orders to a fourth successive peak, according to broker Clarkson. The firm's analysts note that January 2007 could be the peak of the fourth tanker contracting cycle, with as much as 90m dwt of new tonnage ordered over the previous 12 months. Clarkson notes that the three-year contracting cycles demonstrated earlier peaks in January 2004 (51m dwt); January 2001 (35.5m dwt); and October 1997 (31.1m dwt). However, the January 2007 figure is unlikely to break the record year of tanker contracting - 1973 - when orders for 105m dwt of new tonnage were placed. Nevertheless, Clarkson brokers are reporting very positive tanker investment sentiment in Asia and see no sign of a let-up in contracting activity. Owners are preparing to absorb a substantial volume of tonnage over the next 12 months, with 32m dwt of new tankers due to be commissioned, according to the firm. [15/12/06]

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