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Euronav starts 2014 in the black

Euronav starts 2014 in the black
Expansionist Euronav was marginally back in the black in the first quarter with a $1.4m profit, improving on a $10.7m loss in the same period last year.

Time charter equivalent spot rates for the company's VLCC fleet rose from $21,000 per day to $34,777 between Q1 2013 and the first quarter or 2014, with significant rises for the suezmax fleet in both the spot and time charter markets.

The company recorded costs of around $5m in the quarter relating to its $980m purchase of the Maersk Tanker VLCC fleet, the first two ships of which were delivered during the quarter, with the all but one of the 13 remaining vessels to be delivered in the second quarter.

Despite the stronger results, Euronav highlighted the current volatility in the tanker market, an attribute it believe is likely to stay in the long term. Concerns are still evident that the decrease in US oil imports, due to the domestic increase in shale oil production, leaves the market uncertain, although an increase in rates is testament to replacement demand for cargoes from India and China. With those changing trade patterns comes an increase in ton-mile demand that is helping to occupy the world fleet, a development that will be welcomed as the fleet is on the verge of expansion.

In its outlook for the future, Euronav was upbeat on market prospects for 2014 and 2015, where it sees narrowing fleet growth and increased ton-mile demand as a positive indicator for tanker trades.

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