Newbuilding Orders for Tankers on the Rise
Low prices seem to be the main reason behind the trend of rising newbuilding orders for tankers. Despite the fall of the freight rate market and an apparent oversupply of tonnage in most parts of the wet market, it seems that ship owners can’t resist placing more orders. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking commented that “we continued to see a series of new deals emerge this week, with the tanker sector still seeing interest amongst buyers, despite the picture that is being painted on the earnings side. It looks as though there are many that see an opportunity emerge thanks to the increasing regulatory requirements and the relatively low prices that are still being quoted.
All this however has started to create a net effect on prices, with shipbuilders finding an opportunity to raise their ideas hoping to find some cover from the recent positive trend that is being noted. At the same time, we see an exact opposite development on the dry bulk side, with activity holding still at minimal levels despite the optimism that is being held in terms of the freight market prospects moving forward. This may well be in part a reflection as to the recent pause that has been noted in both the secondhand market as well as the temporary stall seen in terms of freight rates. Overall however the prevailing attitude might be influenced by deeper routed reasoning, one would hope, with most seeing that the balance that has been struck being still fragile and trade not showing any prospects for an exceptional ride to be developed over the next couple of years”.
In a separate newbuilding report, Clarkson Platou Hellas said that “starting with tankers, Korea Line have ordered two firm 300k dwt VLCCs at DSME for delivery in 1Q 2020. Also at DSME a yet to be disclosed North American fund are understood to have contracted two firm 300k dwt VLCCs with delivery in 2020. In the MR space, Torm have added a further three 49.9k dwt vessels at GSI taking the series to seven vessels total. In March, MOL ordered a total of four firm 82,000dwt Kamsarmax at Jiangsu YZJ with delivery for all vessels due in 2019. Lepta Shipping (Mitsui) also added an second 180,000dwt Capesize at YZJ with the latest unit for delivery in 2Q 2020. In Japan, JMU have announced an order from Fednav for a single 31,000dwt ice class handy for delivery in 2020. In the ferry market, Pella Sietas have taken an order for a single 58 car/1350 passenger ferry from Reederei NordenFrisia. The vessel will feature hybrid propulsion and is due to deliver in May 2020”.
Meanwhile, in the S&P markets, Allied Shipbroking said that “on the dry bulk side, it looks as though the market showed a bit more spark this week, with activity levels increasing considerably compared to what we were seeing one week prior. The focus however in terms of size and age profiles sought out by buyers seems to still be relatively unchanged, with the large majority of concluded deals centring around the Supramax and Panamax size segments. We have yet to see any interesting moves in terms of pricing, though the upward pressure is still very much present. On the tanker side, things continue to remain at bare minimal levels in terms of activity. This week the main focus seems to have centered around product tankers, with no crude oil carriers having changed hands. This as always remains as a pure reflection to the market gap that has emerged amongst buyers and sellers and given the prevailing earnings and mixed messages still being given by the crude and oi products trade, this trend will likely continue to prevail”.
VesselsValue added that tanker values have remained stable across the sector with a slight softening in LR1 tonnage. no sales to report. In the dry bulk segment, Panamax values have softened with the rest of the sector remaining stable. “Capesize Ocean Commander (174,100 DWT, Aug 2007, Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding) sold to Goodbulk for USD 21.5 mil, VV value USD 20.0 mil. Panamax Dr Bravo (76,800 DWT, Aug 2005, Sasebo) sold to Omicron Ship Management for USD 12.6 mil, VV value USD 12.89 mil. DD due. Supramax Alexandrit (57,000 DWT, Sept 2010, Jiangsu Hantong Ship Heavy Ind) sold for USD 11.3 mil, VV value USD 12.36 mil. DD due. An en bloc deal of two Handy vessels to Nova Marine Carriers for USD 17.6 mil, VV value USD 16.46 mil included; South/North Wind (29,000 DWT, May/Sept 2011, Nantong Nikka)”, VV noted. Finally, in the cntainer segment, “older post Panamax and Panamax tonnage have slightly softened, due to softening demolition levels, with Handy and Feedermax values firming. These changes are due to market sentiment”, said the ships’ valuations expert.