Hedging saves Exmar from loss.
POSITIVE hedging activities in 2009 saved Belgian gas carrier owner Exmar from another year in the red as it suffered from the downturn in spot market rates.
Exmar reported a $54.6m gain from the ?positive influence on the fair value of hedging instruments? last year, which helped drive up its profit to $43.5m, compared with a loss of $62.6m in 2008.
?Excluding the non-cash unrealised profit, the consolidated result after tax for 2009 would have been a $11.1m loss,? Exmar said in a statement.
The dire spot market rates for liquefied petroleum gas carriers drove Exmar"s operating profits from its LPG carriers from $37m in 2008 to just $7.2m last year.
The average daily earnings from Exmar"s fleet of 17 medium sized gas carriers was $21,290 last year, down from $24,517 per day the year before.
There was a similar drop in the average time charter earnings from its fleet of four very large gas carriers, down to $14,192 per day in 2009, from $16,280 per day in 2008.
The LPG division profits were also affected by the dry-docking of three ships, which resulted in 144 off-hire days.
Operations in the company"s liquefied natural gas business was far stronger than from its other gas shipping activities as most of its LNG carriers were on time charter throughout most of last year on rates above the spot rates.
The addition of three newbuilding deliveries boosted Exmar"s LNG operating profit from $39m in 2008 to $42m last year. Profits for this division are set to increase further this year as Exmar is due to take delivery of two more LNG regasification ships and lease them out to US-based Excelerate Energy.