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Shipbrokers Expect Increased Interest for Product Tanker Newbuildings

As 2019 has began with slow activity in the newbuilding market, shipbrokers have attempted to gauge the future demand, stating that product tankers could very well witness increased ordering activity in the near term. In its latest report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking noted that “activity in the first week of the year hovered at relatively moderate levels, with a few new contracts coming to light. In the dry bulk sector, we saw a couple of new orders, though both were in the smaller segments. This seems to be keeping in line with the upsurge noted in the interest for newbuildings during the last couple of weeks of 2018. However, most market participants are failing to act before any real market direction can be felt. In the tanker sector, activity was again focused on the small sizes, with few new contracts being reported, all by European interests. Following improved sentiment noted amongst owners, we anticipate seeing some rise in interest for newbuildings, especially in the product tanker segment, over the following weeks. Prices are likely to move upward in the near future, though it feels as if a bit more momentum in activity needs to be reached before prices are able to budge”.

In a separate newbuilding report, Clarkson Platou Hellas said that “a number of new orders to report as we start 2019. Sovcomflot added to their orderbook at domestic shipyard Zvezda with contracts for three firm 51,000dwt LNG fuelled MRs. All three units are due to deliver in 2020 and go on charter to Novatek. In Gas, Samsung announced a further order for a 174,000cbm LNG carrier from a yet to be confirmed European owner – with delivery due in 2021. Jiangnan Shipyard received an order from domestic owner Tianjin Southwest for one firm plus one option 86,000cbm VLGC – with the firm unit due to deliver in the later part of 2021. Jiangnan have also been active in the container market, with orders for four firm 2,500 TEU feeder container vessels from Evergreen Marine Corp. Delivery of the series is due in 2021. Lastly, Shanghai Haiyi Shipping ordered four 12,500dwt bulk carriers at CSC Jiangdong for delivery in 2020”.

Meanwhile, in the S&P market, shipbroker Banchero Costa said that “during the first week of January, most of the activity was focused in the dry segment. Two Dolphin 57 Supramax “North Quay” around 57,000 dwt 2010 built Nigbo and “Salford Quay” around 57,000 dwt 2011 built Taizhou were sold for $19 mln en bloc to Chinese buyers. The week before “Conti Lapislazuli” around 57,000 dwt 2011 built Taizhou Sanfu was done at $10.5 mln. Always in the same segment, a Japanese controlled unit “Ocean Colossus” around 55,000 dwt 2010 built Kawasaki was agreed at $15.5 mln. In the Handy segment, a more vintage Handymax “Uniorder” around 47,000 dwt 1997 built Oshima was sold at $4.5 mln. Few weeks ago “Stella T” around 48,000 dwt 1997 built Oshima was done at $4.7 mln. Furthermore two modern Chinese built units “Grand Marais” and “North Star” around 35,000 dwt 2016 built Jiangdong Wuhu were sold at $16.2 mln each in an en bloc deal. In the tanker sector, we understand that the two resale Aframax (tier III and scrubbers fitted) ordered by Cukurova Holding at $45 mln each during September 2018, have been resold to Unisea Shipping at $47 mln each. Vessels to be delivered in June and September 2020. In addition, a Chinese built MR “Formosa Sixteen“ around 46,000 dwt 2007 built Bohai was agreed at $8 mln to C. of Monte Nero”.

In a separate note, Allied Shipbroking added that “on the dry bulk side, a fair volume of transactions took place the past couple of days, despite the fact that we are just few days after new year festivities, a point typically characterized by subdued activity in the snp market. At this point, focus is solely on the Supramax and Panamax/Kamsarmax segments and on modern tonnage. With optimism back once more, we may well expect a further boost in activity during the upcoming weeks. On the tanker side, things remained relatively sluggish at the very start of the new year, underlying that the holiday mood hasn’t yet faded away for the wet market. With the freight market witnessing a drop the past couple of days, it seems that snp activity will continue at a slower pace for the time being. Notwithstanding this, given the overall better sentiment as of late, we can expect many interesting deals to take place in the not so distant future”, the shipbroker concluded.

Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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