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Dry Bulk Market Dynamics Shifting

Demand for second hand dry bulk tonnage has been rising of late, with shipowners’ focus being the Handysize and Supramax sectors. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal said that “following the end of the catholic easter, during which the majority of shipping market participants were on holidays, it is interesting to note a few things about the SnP market behavior. Interestingly, the dry secondhand market remained hot amid the holidays, with Handysize and Supramax sectors attracting the majority of buyers’ interest. Handysize in particular, have rebounded strongly both interest wise and asset value wise compared to past two years. In more than few cases, we have seen owners traditionally active in other asset classes turning their interest towards Handysize purchases”.

Source: Intermodal

According to Mr. George Iliopoulos, SnP broker with Intermodal, “another sign of the shift in market dynamics is that we have been hearing more often about off market deals at firm levels; some buyers prefer to pay a premium either in order to avoid competition or because they believe that this premium will turn out to be the immediate asset value upside on the next day”.

Iliopoulos added that “what is also impressive is that asset values of older vessels have increased at a faster pace and the differential to scrap value has widened since the beginning of the year. At the end of 2020, 20 year old vessels of any size were getting offers from buyers on a scrap value basis plus a small premium. For comparison, three months later we are seeing Panamax unit built in 2001 with SS / DD surveys passed and BWTS installed to fetch above USD 9.0 million – levels last seen for 20 year old Panamax units back in 2011 – surpassing the 2017/2018 momentum, when the market was on an upward trend and China had raised the floor with the CCS approval requirements. Naturally, asset values for older vessels have been further supported by the increase in scrap prices at multi year highs above $480/ldt over the past two weeks, after briefly retreating at $420/ldt earlier in February”.

Source: Intermodal

Meanwhile, “looking into the tanker sector, we could say that secondhand interest has also started to increase over the past couple of weeks across all sizes. Of note is that a 10Y old LR2 attracted interest by 15 buyers inspecting it, with the majority being Greeks. We also saw increased buying interest on very modern MRs and 2 resale MRs built in China, being bought by European owners at 31.5 million. Could this be a precursor that the market has found its bottom and expectations start to turn positive? While the Suez Canal blockage certainly aided in lifting sentiment by providing a short freight boost to certain tanker segments, the outlook is expected to start improving fundamentally later in 2021, when refineries are expected to ramp up processing rates, following the destocking of oil products over the past several months”, Iliopoulos concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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