Danish shipping company J. Lauritzen has shrunk its fleet by 15 bulk carriers amid a weak market.
The company’s controlled fleet stood at 68 bulk carriers in the first quarter of 2019, down from 83 units in the same quarter in 2018.
J. Lauritzen said that the market for handysize bulk carriers was weak throughout the first quarter and the handysize index ended approximately 30% below the level recorded one year ago.
Dry cargo markets were negatively impacted by the Brazilian mining incident in early 2019 and ongoing global trade tensions which caused larger freight rate declines across all dry bulk vessel sizes.
Additionally, the company’s average number of operated gas carriers reached 31, in line with the first quarter of 2018. The market for small gas carriers saw a minor decline for ethylene and pressurised tonnage in the period compared with the same quarter in 2018, whereas the market for semi-refrigerated tonnage was up by 35% on last year.
In February this year, Teekay LNG Partners and J. Lauritzen reached an agreement under which Teekay LNG’s seven modern ethylene gas carriers were to join Lauritzen Kosan’s pool of ethylene carriers from March 2019.
With the addition of the Teekay fleet, completed in early May 2019, the Lauritzen Kosan pool “has cemented its position as a leading supplier of ethylene carrying capacity in the small gas carrier segment with a total of 21 units.”
“Our partnership with Teekay LNG confirmed our strong position in the gas carrier industry and earnings for our gas carriers were overall in line with our expectations,” Mads P. Zacho, CEO of J. Lauritzen, said.