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Newcastlmaxes are the most sought after vessels by ship owners today says VesselsValue

Determining a ship’s fair value can be a very tricky business, especially when you’re the one paying. As such, ship owners are looking at a variety of factors, when they pull the trigger on new acquisitions, whether these are newbuildings or existing carriers, especially in today’s challenging market conditions, when a wrong business decision is often hard to recover from.

In an exclusive interview with Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide (www.hellenicshippingnews.com), VesselsValue’s Director of Analytics, Mr. Kaizad Doctor, provides a very useful insight into the process of evaluating ships’ prices, while noting the current trends in the market. The ship valuations’ company is also launching a new service, with an aim to provide a more tailored analysis of ship values.

In which parts of the market, have you witnessed the biggest market corrections?

We re-base the standard 5 year old vessels to Jan 14 and evaluate the change in prices. The prices are adjusted for depreciation and therefore represent absolute market fluctuations.

We can see that despite the recent poor performance of the Panamax sectors the smaller vessel types, Handysize has the worst total returns in terms of asset prices.

Do you feel that asset values have bottomed out, or is there still room for more falls?


Asset values have been evaluated in terms of their relative position across market cycles.
We evaluate the current 5 year old asset values historically in terms of their relative percentiles. (e.g. Capesize 5 Yo is currently valued at 49.6 MUSD which is roughly 45% of the historical price changes from Jan 2007, however after eliminating the supercycle we find that the number jumps to 67% and Capesizes do not look cheap).

Judging by our metrics below we feel that Supra and Handy are relatively cheap however our study is not forward looking and obsolescence in terms of asset classes needs to be considered (e.g. Ultramax’s)

In terms of the future course of values, in which segments do you see potential for major fluctuations?

We evaluate volatility (rate of change or fluctuations) across asset classes and we find that the larger vessels are prone to periods of higher volatility which then “spills over” across the categories.
An historical evaluation shows periods of high volatility in the cape segments and overall periods (see surface below) where all sectors were affected simultaneously.

Going forward we expect the highest volatility in the Capesize and the Ultramax segments.


In terms of owners’ demand, do you think that modern tonnage (i.e. up to 5 years old) or older tonnage is the most sought-after?

We have indices for liquidity which enable us to evaluate the most “fashionable” asset size and age. This preference changes with time and reflects the owners future view of the sectors earning capabilities.

This indicates the current preference for newbuilding resales and capesizes less than 5 year olds currently but in 2011 the preference was also expressed for older capes.



Sticking with ships demand, where do you see ship owners heading in terms of future demand? Which vessels offer the best value for money at the moment, at least when compared to their historical price averages?

We represent the order book in terms of time and size by category in order to evaluate the owners preferences and see which categories are most popular,

Two sample categories:

Capesize: newcastlemax vessels are currently the most popular size for capes providing a marked shift from the traditional 180,000K vessels.


Supramax: this sector has a more heterogeneous size preference however Ultramax new builds and a preference for larger Supramax can be clearly seen.


What new services have you introduced lately? Do you feel that the market is now covered in its entirety by VesselsValue?
We are launching our new service VVQ Bespoke Consultancy, a collection of advanced analytical services, products and reports for maritime and finance professionals. Reports can be tailored to your preferences, are delivered in a time frame to suit the client, anywhere from weekly, monthly or yearly. We purposely designed VVQ to incorporate the same instant access of an entire ship database with unique and personalized reports.

Do you feel that, in the future, you will have to distinguish pricing and valuations, between ECO ships and their more conventional counterparts?

Eco Ships are a premium type of newbuild and so carry extra value which translates into the second hand market: If the market is flat i.e. there is not much activity, there is a greater gap between the total value of newbuilds and second hand vessels.
However if there is a spike in demand, the eco gap becomes smaller. This makes it a two tier market. The better the market, the more the price differential narrows.

Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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