As we continue to fine tune K-Sea’s cost structure, the US economy improves and industry capacity is removed from service, coastwise utilization rates should improve as well as K-Sea’s profitability. I will come back at the end of this call and talk about the full and first quarter outlook for 2012 and let me turn the call now over to Greg.
Thank you, Joe and good morning to all. During the fourth quarter, our inland marine transportation sector continued its strong performance with utilization rates and favorable pricing trends. Low price natural gas continue to positively impact the global competitiveness of the US petrochemical industry. The feedstock advantage provided continued strong volumes of domestically produced petrochemicals for domestic consumption and exportation.Kirby’s black oil fleet continues to see strong demand driven by stable refinery output and the movement of crude from the Midwest of the Gulf Coast and also out of South Texas. Our refined products demand remain positive benefitting from the Midwest to Gulf Coast movements of ethanol and our agricultural demand was also brisk benefitting both from domestic lead produced and imported ag products. Consequently during the 2011 fourth quarter Kirby’s petrochemical and black oil inland fleets achieved utilization rates in the low to mid 90% range. Revenue from our long-term contracts that is one year in duration or longer remained at 75% and the mix of time charter and our freight business continued at about 55% and 45% respectively Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com
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