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Dry Bulkers’ Prices Moving on Higher Ground as Market Sentiment Improves

As the dry bulk market sentiment is improving, on the back of positive fundamentals and a significant rise in freight rates, so are asset prices. Shipbroker Intermodal is taking note of the recent trends in sales prices of various dry bulk classes. In its latest weekly report, Intermodal said that “during the end of last month the BHSI was hovering around 630 points, while the last observed sale on a 10-yr old Japanese Handy was the M/V Van Imabari (28kdwt Shimanami blt’08), which was sold to Greek Buyers for USD 8.5m. About a year ago and while the BHSI stood at similar levels, the sale of the Japanese M/V ex- Laser Ace(28kdwt Shimanami blt’07) also to Greek buyers, materialized at USD 7.7 m. Thus, with the index at similar levels, the price of a 10-yr old Japanese Handy has shown an increase of 10 %. I would say that this is due to strong sentiment among owners operating in this segment and if freight rates remain at healthy levels we will see further appreciation on asset prices”.

According to Intermodal’s SnP broker, Mr. Ilias M. Lalaounis, “as far as 10-yr old Supramax units are concerned and while the BSI ended last week at 1,197 points, we had the sale of the M/V Medi Firenze (58kdwt Cebu blt’08) at USD 13.3m with the vessels dry docking due in December. This is the same price that Nova Marine paid for the smaller and older ship, the M/V ex- Darya Vishnu (56kdwt Mitsui blt’06) back in March 2018, despite the fact that the index is now standing roughly 10% above March levels. Therefore, one could argue that this segment is nowadays experiencing a slowdown in SnP activity compared to last March, with a possible softening in asset values around the corner. In my view though, this is strictly due to several ships being up for sale in this segment, which gives confidence to firm buyers who are currently lowballing and searching for a good deal instead of competing and pushing the barrier higher. Currently, focus has shifted on the M/V Triton Seagull (56kdwt Mitsui blt’07) and the M/V Queen Halo (58kdwt Tsuneishi Cebu blt’10) that received offers yesterday and today respectively”, the broker said.

Lalaounis added that “the Panamax sector we noticed this week the sale of the M/V Double Prosperity (76kdwt Imabari blt’05) to clients based in Qatar for USD 10.6m. We feel that this depicts the low buying appetite for similar vessels, while there is the exception of traditional buyers in this segment, who are currently looking to quickly take advantage of current soft prices. Our focus is now on the M/V AOM Milena (76kdwt Shin Kasado blt’09) that is receiving offers today. As in the case of Supramaxes, the softness in asset prices can only be explained by the abrupt oversupply of sales candidates that came for sale late in the summer in combination to the handful of quiet buyers who cautiously waited to see a market reaction coming into Q4. After all average earnings for Panamaxes and Supramaxes are currently up 15% and 22% compared to mid-summer”.

“I am confident that if rates continue to rise and we get a healthy finish throughout Q4 this will convince hesitant buyers to go the extra mile and come on board ships boosting competition as a result. It will also alleviate hesitant financial stakeholders to regain confidence in the market, which should eventually lead to an increase of available finance. As a result, new eager buyers are expected to come forward, pushing existing buyers to offer higher in order to finally manage to get their hands on the ship they are looking for. All in all, given the current trend, it might not take too long until asset prices once again start moving north”, Intermodal’s analyst said.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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