BRUSSELS, April 16 (Reuters) – Crude oil shipping company Euronav slipped into a deeper loss than a year earlier in the first quarter as overcapacity depressed freight rates and said rates in the second quarter were poor.
The Antwerp-based company said that changes in trading patterns had led to more cargoes being transported greater distances, but returns in terms of time charter rates were lower with more new ships being delivered and a reluctance to scrap.
Euronav said charterers and brokers were pressuring owners to accept freight rates that did not cover basic ship operations, let alone longer term maintenance and dry docking. Shipping crude oil remained a risky business, it said.
“The market is playing Russian roulette and on one voyage one day one charterer will find out there was a bullet in the gun after all. When that happens, do not call the broker,” Chief Executive Paddy Rodgers said in a statement.
Euronav said its net loss slipped to $10.7 million in the first three months of 2013, compared with $9.0 million a year earlier. Average daily spot rates for very large crude carriers (VLCC) fell to $21,000 from $24,000.
Euronav said that in the second quarter its VLCC fleet operating in the Tankers International pool had earned on average $12,300 per day, with 45 percent of the fleet’s available days fixed. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by John O’Donnell)
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