Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is now left with just one very large crude carrier (VLCC) after selling two VLCCs in May.
South Korea’s second-biggest shipping company confirmed to IHS Maritime that 2005-built Universal Crown and Universal Queen have been sold to compatriot Sinokor Merchant Marine.
The only VLCC left with HMM is 1998-built Hyundai Sun.
IHS Maritime’s Sea-web.com data show HMM has been selling and demolishing its VLCCs since 2012.
CS Innovation (ex-Universal Prime) was sold to TMS Bulkers in 2012, and in 2013, HMM sold 1993-built Universal Hope for recycling.
HMM said it sold Universal Crown and Universal Queen to rationalise its fleet.
A company spokesman said, “We have not only one VLCC as our own asset but also four VLCCs and two medium-sized tankers as chartered ships.”
HMM, which divested its LNG shipping business in 2014 as part of efforts to raise USD1 billion to avert a liquidity crunch, added that it does not rule out the possibility of expanding its VLCC fleet.
“The sale of VLCCs doesn’t mean that we are downsizing the tanker business. We plan to expand our fleet considering market conditions for the future,” said the HMM spokesman.