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Tanker and Dry Bulk Owners Enjoy Improving Market Conditions

Ship owners from the two main shipping “powerhouse” markets, i.e. the dry and wet ones, have been enjoying a period of elevated freight rates of late. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal said that “in perhaps the most interesting market conditions of the past years, the tanker and the dry bulk industry have created a positive sentiment with regards to freight rates. Starting from the early-mid of summer the dry bulk industry followed a significant upward trend and despite some minor corrections that have been occurred lately, the BDI seems to have stabilized at high 1,000 points. Levels, which seem particularly attractive when compared to the recent past”.

According to Intermodal’s SnP Broker, Mr. Nassos Soulakis, “however, even more impressive is the recent tanker freight market rally, with the improvement on rates last week being unstoppable, where crude carriers are leading the way, and product carriers are for the time being following to a smaller extent. More specifically, on the wet industry, which rightfully holds the majority of interest from people in the shipping industry. The continuation of the uncertainty with regards to the geopolitical arena together with winter period and with the upcoming regulation of IMO 2020, are creating a very promising future market. Even though the smaller product carriers, don’t appear to being in fashion with a crude carrier, the current trend for conversion of LRS into dirty traders, together with upcoming regulations, will possibly significantly improve this part of the market as well”.

Soulakis added that “with regards to the wet SnP market, on vessels built post 2000, there are two trends that are being formed. On the one side are the crude carriers where the supply side of available sale candidates is limited. In detail, there are only 20 to 30 in total crude carriers available across all sizes, with the majority of them being Aframaxes and less being Suezmaxes or VLCCs. Moreover, concerning the age of the available for sale vessels, on Aframaxes the age range is from 10 to 17 years old, whereas on Suezmaxes and VLCCs the age is early to mid-2000. On the other side are product tankers, MR candidates, which are available for sale in larger numbers, and with regards to age are older than 10 years. In contrast with LR1 and LR2, which have limited available candidates for sale. Any further increase on freight rates in product carriers, will definitively lead to many vessels off the market”.

“As far as SnP values, if someone takes into account the freight, which is currently reported in the VLCC market, it is easy to understand that SnP prices are changing very quickly. Whether and to what extent prospective buyers are willing to pay for the new prices remains to be seen and is directly correlated with how freight rates will perform. The rule of buy low and sell high, has been applied, however the coin has two options. Buy if you think that now is cheaper (and you are able to find a suitable vessel) from the future and sell if you have bought it cheaper, as conditions are created for a quick profit from flipping vessels that have been bought at lower prices in the past. All in all, the following months are definitely hiding many surprises and hopefully will have a positive outcome in the end”, Intermodal’s broker concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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