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Lease rates collapse

Lease rates collapse
A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S is seeking to revise orders for new ships as lease rates collapse.

A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S is seeking to revise orders for new ships as lease rates collapse.

A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, Denmark's biggest owner of crude tankers, is seeking to revise orders for new ships as lease rates collapse, said Kristian Morch, chief operating officer of the company's Maersk Tankers unit. Maersk, which sold $2.86 billion of shares this week to fund acquisitions in the oil and terminals businesses, has 39 oil tankers on order, Morch said. He declined to give details on the talks with shipyards.

"Like any suppliers in times of crisis you look at what contracts you have," Copenhagen-based Morch said by phone today. "With any supplier, we look into our costs. These are major contracts."

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, accounting for about 40 percent of global oil supply, have cut output by 4 percent this year, according to Bloomberg estimates. Over the same period, the fleet of in-service crude oil carriers expanded 5.3 percent.

The Baltic Dirty Tanker Index, a measure of shipping costs, averaged 527 points in the second quarter, the lowest since at least the fourth quarter of 2001, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. Frontline Ltd., the world's biggest supertanker company, canceled a third of its tanker orders in May.


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