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Demand for dry bulk ships cools down, as appetite for newbuildings picks up pace again

Newbuilding ordering activity has kept up pace over the course of these past few weeks, just as ship owners have taken a step back from the S&P market, especially the one for dry bulk carriers. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking noted that “with a lot of interest seemingly centered around the ability to secure any discounted slots for older vessel designs. With the main driver being the pricing aspect, it is difficult to see how this positive trend in buying interest could continue for much longer. Prices being quoted by shipbuilders are likely to see significant further hikes over the rest of the summer period something that will surely act as a demand dampener in the short run. At the same time we continue to see leasing deals coming through by the big leasing houses in China, something that has surely also played it part and will likely be a determining factor moving forward, especially when you take into consideration the difficult conditions in terms of financing being faced in the secondhand market”, the shipbroker concluded.

In a separate newbuilding report this week, shipbroker Clarkson Platou Hellas said that “there is one order to report in Tankers this week. Clients of Metrostar Management have extended their series at Daehan by ordering further two 115,000 DWT LR2 Tankers. Set for delivery within 2018, these vessels will be the 3rd and 4th units in the series. In Dry, Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) have won an order for two firm 180,000 DWT Capesize Bulk Carriers from Foremost Maritime. The duo will deliver in 2019 from China.

In Gas market, Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL) have placed an order for four firm 174,000 CBM LNG Carriers at Hudong Zhonghua for delivery throughout 2019 and 2020. Kawasaki HI have signed a contract with Kumiai Navigation Pte. Ltd. for one 82,200 CBM VLGC for delivery in 2020. Kumiai already have one vessel on order which is scheduled to deliver in 2019 from Kawasaki’s Sakaide facility”, the shipbroker concluded.

Meanwhile, in the S&P market, Allied noted that “on the dry bulk side, activity hit a further slowdown in pace, with only a handful of units changing hands this past week. Both buyers and sellers seemed to have taken a momentary “step back” from the market, looking to get a sense of where the overall market direction stands right now both in the secondhand market as well as in the freight market. We are likely to see a fairly slow month, while there might be a slight “wake up” mid August if previous years are anything to go by. On the tanker side, a very uninteresting week here too, with only a couple of small product tankers being reported, while buying inquiries seemed to have gone quiet. There are still some who are willing to shop around in the larger crude oil size segments, however, given the fact that we are not in any rapidly firming freight market, most seem to be taking their time, looking to pick out any opportunities that now emerge”, it said.

In the S&P market, ship valuations expert VesselsValue added that “tanker values have remained stable this week. The VLCC Taizan (300,000 DWT, NKK, Sept 2002) sold requiring immediate DD and permanent repair to ballast tanks for USD 15.0 mil to Dynacom Tankers. The MR2 Nord Independence (48,000 DWT, Iwagi Zosen, Mar 2010) sold for USD 18.0 million”. In the dry bulk segment, VV added that “most values remained stable this week, however Supramax values saw a small softening. The Ocean Symphony (58,100 DWT, Tsuneishi Cebu, Sept 2012) sold SS due for USD 15.2 mil vs VV USD 16.3 mil. The Supramax Privmed (57,000 DWT, COSCO Zhoushan, May 2010) sold in a distressed sale for USD 9.8 mil vs VV USD 12.5 million”. Finally, in the container segment, “there has been considerable interest in Post Panamax vessels over the past few months, especially for larger tonnage, driving up values. Smaller vessels values have remained stable. Tufton Oceanic acquired the MSC Roma & Lisbon (9,784 TEU, Samsung, Dec 2006 / Mar 2007) in an en bloc deal worth USD 40 million”, the shipbroker concluded
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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