Termination of Suezmax JVs Affects Euronav’s Profits

Antwerp-based tanker owner and operator Euronav NV has recorded its first half of 2016 earnings at USD 153.7 million, against USD 173.2 million seen in the first half of 2015.

Proportionate EBITDA for the same period was USD 298.6 million, compared to USD 316.1 million reached a year earlier.

The decrease is mainly attributed to the termination of the joint ventures with Bretta Tanker Holdings, Inc. covering four Suezmax vessels on May 20, 2016, according to the company.

Euronav assumed full ownership of the two youngest vessels, the Captain Michael (2012 – 157,648 dwt) and the Maria (2012 – 157,523 dwt) in early June. The company said that it has compensated Bretta Tanker Holdings, Inc. for the difference in value due to the younger age profile of the ships it took over as well as the voyages in progress and has paid the sum of USD 15.1 million upon closing the transaction.

Toward the end of the quarter the anticipated seasonal adjustment in tanker market freight rates has been exacerbated by a combination of factors acting simultaneously to press freight rates lower, Euronav said, adding that these are “likely to persist through Q3.”

“Notwithstanding short term headwinds Euronav anticipates a seasonal rate recovery into the winter supported by recent upgrades in anticipated crude demand (IEA)” and current disrupting market factors dissipatingPaddy Rodgers, CEO of Euronav, said.

Rodgers added that medium and longer term prospects for the tanker market remain constructive, “underpinned by a solid recurring demand for crude, structural change in financing likely to constrain future vessel supply growth and a likely acceleration in the retirement of older ships from 2017 onward.”

At the beginning of June Euronav entered into a commercial joint venture, called Suezmax Chartering, with Diamond S Shipping LLC and Frontline Ltd, with an aim to create a single point of contact for cargo owners to access a fleet of 43 modern Suezmax vessels, including newbuildings, operated on the spot market.

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