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Dry Bulk Second Hand Sales Grew by 35% During the First Quarter of 2024

Demand for dry bulkers remained strong during the first quarter, as shown by the increase in the number of deals reported. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Xclusiv said that “during the first 3-months of 2024, dry bulk S&P activity was brisk, with over 220 vessels changing hands. This represents a nearly 35% increase compared to the same period in 2023, approaching the volume recorded in Q1 2021. Handysize, Supramax, and Capesize sectors have been the stars so far this year, with 43, 55, and 31 sales respectively (constituting around 19%, 25%, and 14% accordingly out of the total of bulk carrier sales)”.

Source: Xclusiv

According to the shipbroker, “surprisingly, the Capesize sector has experienced the strongest Q1 in terms of sales, of at least the last 10-year period, despite the increase in the second-hand prices. Within the past year, Capesize second-hand prices have realised the greatest increase compared to other segments, with the 5-year, 10-year and 15-year-old prices climbing by 21%, 35% and 39% respectively. Panamax/Kamsarmax and Post Panamax sectors have also performed a great beginning, with a total of 58 vessels finding new owners, more than double compared to the same period of 2023. Although all sizes across dry bulk market have noted an increase in buying appetite during Q1 2024 compared to Q1 2023, in the Ultramax segment almost 14 vessels have been sold y-t-d, a figure down by 20% compared to similar period of last year.

Looking into the age group profile, there is a tremendous increase in the demand of vintage vessels (16+ years old) from January to March 2024 compared to the same period of 2023, as a total of 57 vessels have been sold, almost double compared to 2023’s Q1 period. On the other hand, the tanker market’s S&P activity has decelerated, with 118 sales having been recorded y-t-d, almost 40% down compared to 2023’s Q1 activity. MR2, Aframax/LR2 and VLCCs drive the tanker S&P activity so far this year, with 36, 19 and 15 sales respectively (constituting almost 31%, 16% and 13% accordingly out of the total tanker sales). March of 2024 was the most subdued month, with only 24 sales, while during the same month of 2023 a total of 78 tankers had changed hands. The most significant decrease in sales was witnessed on the Panamax/LR1 sector, as from January to March 2024 a mere of 7 sales have been logged, while during Q1 of 2023, 29 vessels had changed hands. Interestingly, despite the overall slowdown, sales of tankers aged 6-10 years old have increased. In fact, we observe a 25% jump compared to the same period of 2023, with 20 sales taking place so far this year”, Xclusiv said.

Source: Xclusiv

Meanwhile, based on the shipbrokers’ data, “in the first three months of 2024, Greeks have been quite active in the dry bulk S&P market. Greek owners have sold 48 vessels and acquired 42, putting them ahead of the game compared to the same period in 2023. During the same period of 2023, Greeks also acquired 48 vessels but only sold 26. In 2024, Greeks have shown a preference for buying and selling bulkers between 11 and 15 years old. This age group comprised 29 out of 42 acquisitions and 26 out of 48 sales. Panamax and Capesize vessels dominated Greek sales with 11 and 13 vessels sold respectively. For acquisitions, Greek appetite was spread across Handysize, Supramax, Capesize, and Newcastlemax vessels. It is noted that 2024 has not been as active as 2023 in the tanker S&P market for Greeks. They have sold 16 vessels and acquired 14, ranking first in Sellers and second in Buyers. In the same period of last year, Greeks had sold 44 tankers and bought 23. In 2024, Greeks are selling older vessels, with 10 out of 16 tankers sold being over 16 years old. However, they are buying relatively new vessels, with 6 out of 14 acquisitions being built in 2018 or later. Greeks are clearly targeting vessels in the Aframax/LR2 segment (6 out of 16 acquisitions), while they have sold 4 Suezmaxes and 3 Panamaxes (out of a total of 16 sales)”, Xclusiv concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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