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Nordic American Tankers reports $25m loss

Bermudian-based Nordic American Tankers Ltd remains bullish about the future despite reporting a net loss of $25 million, or 16 cents per share, in the first quarter of the year.

This compares with a loss of $28.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The company’s long term debt at March 31 stood at $329 million, net of transaction costs.

During the first quarter, the company said it issued 1,872,875 shares, with gross proceeds of $6.4 million.

Nordic American’s fleet consists of 25, including two newbuildings, Suezmax tankers with a cargo lifting capacity of one million barrels of crude oil each.

The company said that, despite Opec oil production cuts during the first quarter, the average time charter equivalent came in at $9,400 per day per ship, an improvement on the previous quarter’s $8,700 per day per ship.

Except for one ship, Nordic American said its entire fleet is working on short-term contracts.

Operating costs per ship are about $8,000 per day.

The company said the recent upward move in the price of oil and in raw materials such as steel and copper has increased the value of its fleet by more than $100 million.

It said small events can turn the market in the company’s favour, citing the closure of the Suez Canal for a few days during the first quarter.

Nordic American said the closure “served as a reminder of how finely balanced the market is. One ship too many pushes freight rates lower and one ship too few does the opposite”.

In its report to shareholders and investors, the company said of the world economy and the tanker market: “What is good for the world economy and world trade is positive for the crude oil tanker business.

“Opec oil production cuts are easing from this month, as world oil inventories have decreased rapidly on the back of strong oil demand in the Far East and a cold winter in Europe and US.

“We believe this marks the turning point for the tanker market as oil producers around the world will start adding barrels to the market in the coming months and years.

“With all of the stimulus spending, potential infrastructure spending, continued quantitative easing, strong consumer and business balance sheets and euphoria around the potential end of the pandemic, we believe that the global economy has the potential to have a robust, multiyear growth. This is good for oil and tanker demand.

“Historically, every setback in world oil demand has been followed by a forceful rebound the following year. The above combined with a muted fleet growth bodes well for the years to come.”

Going forward, the company said its strategy “is built on expanding and maintaining a homogenous and top quality fleet, leveraging on our industry network and close customer relationships with major oil companies.

“Employment of our ships with major oil companies is a priority.”

The company said it will pay a dividend of two cents per share, payable on June 18 to shareholders of record on June 4.

The payment marks the 95th consecutive quarterly dividend payment by Nordic American.

Valuable fleet: a Suezmax tanker like the ones that make up Nordic American's fleet (File photograph)

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Published May 25, 2021 at 5:45 pm (Updated May 25, 2021 at 5:45 pm)

Nordic American Tankers reports $25m loss

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