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“Quiet” December Expected for Ship Acquisitions

With most of the shipping community concentrating on the issue of the IMO 2020 rule and the smoothest possible transition, shipbrokers expect a rather underwhelming December, in terms of new ship deals. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal started off its analysis by noting that “dry bulk freight rates rebounded last week, a development that came as a relief following the recent negative sentiment that prevailed in the market for over a month. Despite this, sales activity remains limited as we are approaching the end of the year and as new regulations are about to come into effect in about a month’s time, with owners being in a wait and see mode until there is less ambiguity in the market”.

According to Intermodal’s Vasilis Moiris, SnP Broker, “the ratio of asset prices over earnings is still fairly attractive relative to previous years, creating a potentially interesting environment for investments. At the same time and despite the recent back and forth, it seems that the long awaited agreement between USA-China that will end the trade war between the two countries and will enhance support to the sector is finally approaching”.

He added that “orderbooks across the dry bulk sector are also at low levels. Market volatility throughout the year and uncertainty over the effect of the new regulations hampered ordering activity throughout the year so far, while we have also witnessed increased scrapping compared to 2018”.

Meanwhile, “as far as recent sales activity in the Capesize sector is concerned, we are hearing that the larger Azul Fortuna (203kdwt, blt’05 Universal) has been committed at USD 15,8mill, which is a softer price compared to the one year older Azul Integrity that was sold for the same price about a month ago. After her previous sale did not materialize and following a second round of inspections, the Panamax Coral Emerald (76kdwt, blt’07 Sanoyas) is reported sold for USD 11mill. This also a softer price of about USD650k compared to the last done, which also comes as a result of the recent drop in freight rates”, Moiris said.

According to the analyst, “while the market outlook in tankers is brighter with rates being at healthy levels for some time now, the number of sales is limited in view of lack of available tonnage for sale and the increase in asset values. Nevertheless, there is still firm interest for middle aged crude tankers, while a number of buyers are currently active in the product sector. After the last month’s spike in values we see that prices have flattened, while freight rates remain robust amid the winter season and on-going sanctions that have affected supply in the last couple of months. Greek buyers c/o Monte Nero Maritime are reported to have bought the Aframax Seaways Fran (112kdwt, blt’01 Hyundai) at USD 13.6mill, a price which falls in line with recent activity in the sector. Overall, we expect December to be quiet in terms of activity in both sectors, with Buyers taking a step back and re-evaluating their strategy following this admittedly interesting year in terms of SnP trends”, Moiris concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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