Norway’s Star Reefers swung to an $11.3 million second quarter net loss from a year-earlier profit of $3.8 million, as spot market rates fell, fuel costs rose and container carriers targeted the refrigerated shipping markets with “unsustainably low prices.”
The Oslo-listed carrier’s net revenue after voyage expenses fell to $45.8 million from $48.6 million in the second quarter of 2010.
This left a first half net loss of $8.9 million against a $7.6 million profit in the same period a year ago, while net revenue slipped to $93.7 million from $98 million.
Relatively weak economic trends, which are dampening demand for fruit, and competition from container carriers has depressed rates for specialized reefer ships. Rising fuel prices have further reduced their earnings.
Most recently, container carriers have targeted Ecuadorian banana exports to Russia and other European destinations, triggering a sharp decline in reefer charter rates at the end of April.
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