NAT sees helpful undercurrent

Herbjorn Hansson has raised hopes of a pending improvement in the suezmax tanker spot market.

Nordic American Tankers chief Hansson says the second quarter has not been as strong as the first but notes year-on-year progress for the New York-listed company during the period.

In his latest trademark letter to shareholders, Hansson said: “There is an undercurrent in the market which may lead to increased rates again. Time will tell."

NAT recorded operating cash flow of around $27m in the second quarter, the executive says. This compares with the $1.9m seen a year ago.

According to a report from RS Platou Markets, the consensus among analysts is for NAT to post a $15m loss for the second quarter. 

Hansson wrote today: “We are now entering a period in the tanker business during which we can expect that the supply of ships will shrink; i.e. an improved balance between supply and demand may be established.

“It is many years ago since we had such a position. The recent volatility in the spot market is also indicating a tighter balance between supply and demand.”

According to ICAP, suezmaxes are earning a fraction over $22,000 daily right now.

This is just above the year-to-date average of around $19,400 when adjustments are made for slow steaming.

NAT will soon reveal its next quarterly dividend and will also distribute a special dividend in the form of shares in New York-listed spin-off Nordic American Offshore.