08 October 2012 15:10 [Source: ICIS news]
BUDAPEST (ICIS)--Demand for stainless steel tankers in the chemical tanker market is likely to grow, bringing with it firmer freight rates, a ship broker said on Monday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 46th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting in Budapest, Hungary, the broker said that as it is increasingly important to increase the time a vessel is in employment, more charterers will look to stainless steel tankers to carry their products.
Stainless steel tankers require less time in cleaning compared with the older epoxy-coated tankers, and generally achieve firmer freight rates.
“Days are lost in the cleaning epoxy tankers… as operators desperately seek further cost-cutting measures during the downturn, stainless steel will become the more attractive option,” he added.
The current climate continues to bring with it weak demand for the global consumption of chemicals, and few operators can currently consider purchasing stainless steel vessels, which come at a premium compared with epoxy-coated alternatives.
However, the broker believes that once the market starts to pick up, the demand for stainless steel tankers will increase, commanding with it a higher freight rate and pulling the market up further.
“This is one of the few areas in today’s shipping market that does provide us with signs of encouragement,” said the broker
The annual EPCA meeting runs from 6-10 October.
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