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Newbuilding Orders Slowed Down at the End of the 2020, But Second Hand Bulker Demand Remained High

2020 won’t be a year to remember for newbuildings. A combination of pandemic, trade contraction and uncertainty surrounding existing and future regulation compliance guidelines, pushed more ship owners towards the S&P market for their tonnage needs.

In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking said that it was “an overall quiet week for the newbuilding market, given the typical sluggish pace of the Christmas holiday period. Both the dry bulk and tanker sectors were completely absent in terms of fresh order activity, with most interested parties having already postponed their plans for early on in the New Year. With dry bulk freight rates noticing a fair boost as of late, especially for the bigger sizes, we can expect a more vividness in the market, even at the early part of next year. On the other hand, with the tanker sector being in the doldrums in terms of earnings, there is limited room to point to any given direction of the market, even on a near term basis. Most probably, we will continue witnessing a slow trickle of activity take place, with periodical steep sparks in-between. Finally, rather disconnected to all the above, the container market experienced a hefty boost during the final part of the year and the past week, with a strong number of new orders coming to light. With all that being said, we should hopefully see a more sustainable newbuilding market take shape in the coming year”.

Source: Allied Shipbroking

In a separate note, Intermodal said that “almost one week before the end of the year, interest in the newbuilding market was mostly concentrated in the Container sector, with large units accounting for a significant share of last week contracting activity which brought the number of total orders in the sector to 35 units during the last month of the year. Among them, the most eye-catching order came to light last week; Ocean Network Express has signed an LOI for the charter of 6 ultra-large Container vessels from Shoei Kisen. These six container vessels will exceed the 24,000 teu becoming the largest units ever built. In the dry bulk sector, Chinese owner Seacon declared an option for two Kamsarmax units to be built in CSSC Huangpu shipyard while no tanker orders surfaced during the last week”.

Meanwhile, in the S&P market this week, Allied said that “on the dry bulk side, a strong number of units changed hands for yet another week, albeit with a slight slowdown in terms of activity on a w-o-w basis. Despite the typical sluggish holiday mood, buying appetite seems to be ample for the time being, with interest varying across most size segments and age groups. With freight returns moving onto more favorable numbers, the expectation is for the SnP market to continue to remain fairly vivid for the time being. On the tankers side, a relatively modest flow of transactions took place. It is true that the prolonged uninspiring trends noted from the side of earnings for many months now hasn’t helped in order to preserve a more balanced SnP market. With many interested parties having already postponed their plans for now, it is highly unlike that we will see any quick shift in the prevailing trend (in the short-run at least). It is obvious that a lot will depend on how things develop from the side of returns during the 1st quarter of 2021”.

Source: Allied Shipbroking

Similarly, Intermodal said that “tanker SnP activity slowed down considerably this past week, with owners showing preference once again to dry bulk units where geared sizes monopolized buyers’ interest. In the tanker sector, we had the sale of the “ANTONIS I. ANGELICOUSSIS” (306,286dwt-blt ‘00, S. Korea), which was sold to Greek buyers, for a price in the region of $19.5m. On the dry bulker side sector, we had the sale of the “SBI PHOEBE” (63,500dwt-blt ‘16, China), which was sold to US based owner, Eagle Bulk, for a price in the region of $17.65m”, the shipbroker concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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