Nordic American Tankers Ltd.: The Corona Virus and NAT
We already referred to the Corona Virus in a press release of Friday January 31, 2020, stating that “we do not see any implications for NAT” – from the Virus.
In the NAT Q4 2019 report of Tuesday February 18, 2020 we drew the same conclusion. We have learnt over the years that we do not necessarily see negative implications for NAT in times when there is political uncertainty.
Political uncertainty may create positive implications for NAT. The last few years, irrespective of the Corona Virus, there are exports of crude oil from the USA. This development creates work for many suezmaxes of our type.
It is part of our business to handle risk. We have traded ships in Hormuz for decades – Hormuz in the Persian Gulf is an area between the adversaries Saudi Arabia and Iran of about 30 nautical miles.
Although the indirect effects from the Virus may have short term negative implications for the oil market, it does not necessarily impact the market for NAT.
Reduced world oil trade in itself is negative for NAT. On the plus side there are several positive factors. Observers must not lose their heads – tendencies we see now.
Situations like these create irrational behavior by many parties, among investors, financial institutions and others. As a tanker company, we are cautious and do not wish to stimulate such irrational behavior.
As an example, we now see increased demand for storage space. Several of our ships are employed in this way. In tough times, you always have cans of reserve food in your basement. Now we have “reserve” oil.
The NAT tanker business has a solid future – short term bumps in the road, caused by Virus or other contingencies, do not distort our expectations in this regard. The East/Far East remain the area of growth in the years to come – the economic machine of international business, stimulating the NAT tanker business.
A main objective for NAT is to remain a dividend company.
Source: Nordic American Tankers