Current Market Reports
In June 2021, Marcon reported 54 push boats officially on the market for sale out of 781 tracked. This is down 19 (26.03%) from one year ago in May 2020 and 12 (18.18%) from May 2016. While the market challenges of the latter half of 2020 continued into first quarter 2021, improvements were seen in second quarter 2021. These improvements seem to be linked to economies opening back up as more of the population is vaccinated. Improved barge movements and utilization were noted in second quarter 2021, but transportation channels are still backlogged with little relief expected soon, especially in light of the resurgence in COVID-19 cases and resulting impact on travel and businesses.
In May, Marcon reported 615 tugs officially on the market for sale out of 5,203 tracked. This is up 15.17% from one year ago, but down 1.28% from five years ago. Marcon has closed six sales and one charter so far in 2021 after ending 2020 with 22 sales and charters completed. Many of the 2020 deals were well in the works before the Covid-19 situation developed and oil prices crashed. Throughout most of 2020 and early 2021, the market was extremely slow both domestically and world-wide. As we have been seeing an increase in inquiries lately, we are hopeful that a rebound is emerging as more people are vaccinated, Covid-19 slowly subsides and economies turn around with strong fiscal stimulus.
As of April, Marcon had 28 inland and 20 ocean or coastal tank barges available for sale out of 670 tracked, slightly more than was available one year ago. The tank barge market was in recovery mode in early 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic eased and utilization increased. However, Winter Storm Uri dealt the industry a major setback when a majority of refineries in the Gulf of Mexico were shutdown. As of this report, utilization is nearly back to pre-Uri levels and forecast to increase as COVID re-opening continues and the economy recovers.
In our March 2021 offshore market report, Marcon reports 618 supply, tug supply, crew, fast supply and pilot boats officially on the market for sale out of 4,119 tracked worldwide. The pandemic severely stalled sales activity from the second quarter of 2020 onward. Demand and prices were significantly depressed and we had several sales cancel due to the inability to travel, arrange deliveries or due to cancellation of projects. On a positive note, the market seems to be improving somewhat as we move further into 2021. In spite of this, the OSV market, especially in the U.S., has been over tonnage which will remain an issue impacting prices for the foreseeable future.