Dry Bulk Orderbook Numbers Bode Well for the Future
In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal noted that “the newbuilding market activity has been significantly positive from a dry bulk owner perspective during the first half of 2022. Indeed, the contracting volumes of the respective segment remain low amidst a cocktail of different factors that have made both owners and shipbuilders focus on other sectors with Container one attracting most of the interest, followed by the Gas sector with massive orderbook plans having already begun. Among them, the steel prices and consequently the value of newbuildings have made owners pensive towards the construction of new vessels. Steel prices despite a recent downward correction are still on remarkable upper levels while both box ships and LNG vessels have occupied almost all the 2023-2024 slots meaning that any order is now dated for 2025 delivery onwards with shipbuilder participants happy to secure such units due to their higher profit margins. At the same time, a new paradigm with respect to the available tonnage supply has been evident during this year so far, in the sense that despite the softer Chinese demand, the shorter tonnage list is strong enough to support a multi-year upcycle.
Yiannis Parganas, Research Analyst with Intermodal said that “according to our preliminary data, a total of fifty-one bulk carriers have been ordered during the first half of 2022. More specifically, twelve Handysize, twenty-five Ultramax, seven Kamsarmax, five Capesize and two Newcastlemax vessels were ordered so far this year accumulating a total amount of around 4.0 million dwt. This amount is being added to an overall low orderbook to the fleet ratio which is standing now at 6.6%. More precisely, the largest rate is being witnessed in the Panamax/Kamsarmax sector with 8.2%, followed by Supramax/Ultramax with a 6.4% ratio, Capesize sector with a 6.2% and lastly the Handysizes with 4.8%. As far as the age is concerned, only 7.5% of the fleet is older than twenty years old while 20% of the fleet is under five years old. The low orderbook to fleet ratio is also being mirrored in the mediocre fleet growth of around 2.1-2.2% during 2022”.
“It is evident that the supply levels will remain in the owner’s favor; while external factors including the high congestion levels, the redrawing of the traditional trade routes which are leading to a shift to longer trips, and the environmental regulations which will push more owners to dispose of their vintage units and to the adoption of slow steaming practices will further narrow down the supply list”, Parganas concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide