AHTS day-rates surge

Day-rates in the North Sea spot sector have reached their highest level since late December, with BP hiring the 274-bp anchor-handler Havila Jupiter (built 2010) for £110,000 per day.

Shipowners’ early optimism for a strong summer market had failed to materialise until the last few days, when rates started to surge due to limited availability of ships.

Before today’s £110,000 charter, day-rates had reached £85,000 and NOK 900,000 during the week.

Jorgen Welde Knudsen, Westshore’s duty broker, told TradeWinds: “It has been a difficult year for the owners but the tightness in the market, which we have been waiting for, has come.”

In the beginning of what was seen as a “busy summer”, rates had remained subdued with utilisation lagging despite increased activity.

But Knudsen said: “Harsh weather in the North Sea had an impact recently because we saw delays and rig moves were taking longer than expected, leading to lower availability.”

According to the broker, weather will be a decisive factor in whether prices remain at a high level.

“If vessels return to ports after the weekend, that means that we will see lower rates,” he said.

Regardless of rates, it has been a busy summer in terms of market activity and charterers looking for tonnage.

Only two vessels remain available in the UK while every ship in Norway is under contract.