Nordic American Tankers' "busiest period ... ever" has positioned it well for the pre-IMO 2020 rally, a letter from the company Wednesday said.

"In 2Q2019, we have seen the normal seasonal downturn in that quarter," the letter read. "We expect a significantly improved tanker market ahead.

"We must remember that political unrest is often good for the tanker market. We now see increased oil exports from the US, which is a new trend.

"The prospects for NAT are good."

The Herbjorn Hansson-led shipowner said it was getting improved rates for its suezmax tankers, following a period where it sold 10 ships, took delivery of three and cut a five-year, $306m financing deal.

On 30 May, Nordic American Tankers announced it had fixed the 158,597-dwt Nordic Zenith (built 2011) to Equinor for the next 12 to 15 months, though the financial details were not disclosed.

Then, the Baltic Dirty Tanker Index was 643. Since, it has climbed to 654 after bottoming out to 632 5 June.

Elsewhere, Clarksons reports the 158,322-dwt Densa Whale (built 2012) was chartered to Trafigura for $22,500 per day for 9 to 14 months last week. The ship is owned by Istanbul-based Marinsa Denizcilik.