Small Bulkers in High Demand
Newbuilding activity picked up over the past week, while in the S&P market, the main focus has been dry bulk carriers of the smaller size-segments. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking said that “following the relatively slower flow of activity in the Newbuilding market noted the week prior, things seemed to be warming up slightly again, with a flurry of fresh orders being reported these past couple of days. In the Dry Bulk sector, new ordering activity didn’t start the year with the enthusiasm that was to be expected, given the improved freight market conditions. This all seems to have changed this past week with a number of fairly impressive deals coming to light and showing a renewed interest to invest further. On the tanker side, with the bearish attitude having a strong hold on the sector, new order placing remains minimal, a mere reflection of a market of low earnings and poor fundamentals. In part, the most recent activity boost seems to have been created by a drive in new orders being seen in the containership and Gas carrier sector, which helped fill in the gap left by the Tanker sector. With both of these sectors showing much more promise than what was being noted a couple of months back, it wouldn’t be of great surprise if we were to witness a continual flow of buying interest emerge over the coming months”.
In a separate newbuilding report, Clarkson Platou Hellas said that “in tankers, although contracted last year, it came to light this week that Fukuoka Shipbuilding have won an order for two firm 36,000 DWT Chemical Tankers from an unknown Japanese owner. Set for delivery in 2019 and 2020 from the Yard’s Nagasaki facility, these vessels will go on charter to Odfjell. In Dry, CSBC in Taiwan have announced an order for two 208,000 DWT Newcastlemaxes from China Steel Express. The duo will deliver in 1Q 2020 from CSBC’s Kaohsiung yard and will be the 3rd and 4th vessels in the series. Clients of Seatankers Management have signed a contract for two firm plus two optional 82,000 DWT Kamsarmax Bulk Carriers with Shanhaiguan Shipbuilding in China for delivery in 2019 for the firm units. It is understood that this order was placed in December last year. One order to report in Gas, with Jiangnan Shipyard receiving an order for two firm 84,000 CBM VLGCs from domestic owner Oriental Energy. These two vessels are slated for delivery in 3Q 2020. In the Container market, Imabari have signed a contract for a series of twelve firm 11,000 TEU Container Carriers with Shoei Kisen. These vessels will all go on charter to Evergreen when delivered throughout 2020 and 2021. In other sectors, it came to light this week that Wuchang Shipyard in China have won an order from COSCO Shipping for two firm 2,200 CEU PCC due to deliver in 2020”, the shipbroker concluded.
Meanwhile, in the S&P market this week, Allied Shipbroking said that “on the dry bulk side, activity continues to be ample while we are still seeing a bigger focus still present on the smaller size segments again this week. To some extent this has started to be reflected to some degree in the price levels being noted, though noting considerable thus far. If buying interest and activity continue to hold at their going rate, it will likely not take long before we start to see another price rally take shape, though given the standing conditions in the freight market, this may well end up being delayed until early March. On the tanker side, it feels as though things quietened down further this past week in terms of reported deals, with relatively few coming to surface. At the same time it looks as though we may see things start to improve slowly in this sector, as trade fundamentals start to paint a slightly better overall picture. We have yet to see any strong indication of this take shape in the freight market, though potential buyers may well be already taking notice”.
In a separate note this week, Vessels Value said that in the tanker market, this week has seen a slight softening in older VLCC tonnage and a firming across Afra and LR1 values. Aframax Ridgebury Alice M (105,700 DWT, Oct 2003, Sumitomo) sold for USD 11.3 mil, VV value USD 11.6 million. An en bloc deal of two Panamax Tankers, Kind Darius & King Duncan (73,600/73,700 DWT, Dec 2007/Mar 2008, New Times Shipbuilding) sold for USD 28.0 mil, VV value USD 29.12 mil. SS due March 2018.
In the dry bulk segment though, VV said that it was a very busy week, with 10 Supramax vessels sold, resulting in a slight firming across all vessel types, excluding Cape values which have remained stable. “Capesize Bulk India (177,600 DWT, Apr 2004, Mitsui Ichihara) sold to Bulkseas Marine Management for USD 14.3 mil, VV value USD 15.39 mil. Bank driven sale.
Panamax Sea Trellis (79,500 DWT, Jan 2012, JHM) sold to Axis Bulk Carriers Inc for USD 15.5 mil, VV value USD 14.86 mil. SS freshly passed. Supramax Tasman Castle (56,900 DWT, Jan 2011, Jiangsu Hantong) sold to Load Line Marine for USD 11.7 mil, VV value USD 12.43 mil. An en bloc deal of two Supramax vessels, Dynasty Xia & Dynasty Shang (56,600 DWT, Oct 2012/Apr 2013, Huatai Heavy Ind) sold for USD 25.0 mil, VV value USD 25.88 mil. Handy PPS Ambition (33,300 DWT, Jun 2013, Shin Kurushima Hashihama) sold for USD 14.7 mil, VV value USD 14.36 mil. Handy Glorious Sunshine (28,300 DWT, Jan 2009, Imabari) sold to the CSL group for USD 8.65 mil, VV value USD 8.86 million”, the ships’ valuations expert concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide