Ship owners load up on modern dry bulk tonnage as prices deemed to attractive to bypass

Dry bulkers are being snapped up left and right in the S&P market these days. In its latest report, Allied Shipbroking noted that “on the dry bulk side, we witnessed a good level of activity, though not much in terms of further shifts in prices. For the moment we have seen a considerable improvement compared to were price levels where a month ago. The momentum in terms of buying interest has stalled as the freight market lost its upward momentum and many fear now of a weaker market to be noted during the biggest course of the summer period which is quickly approaching. On the tanker side, activity remains fairly weak and as buyers’ interest holds fairly soft, prices continue to lose strength especially on the larger crude oil carriers. This trend is likely to continue moving forward although it is unlikely that we will lose a considerable amount over the coming months as most of the weakening in prices now noted seems to be driven in part by the dropping newbuilding and scrap steel prices”.

Similarly, VesselsValue wrote yesterday that “it was a strong market for bulker sales this week. Two modern Capesizes were sold in separate deals; the Galaxy Dream (181,400 DWT, 2013 Blt, Imabari) was sold to Winning Shipping for USD 26.5m. The price is slightly low relative to the cheaper Shining Dragon (180,200 DWT, 2012 Blt, Imabari) sold the day before to Ebe for USD 25.5m. The sale follows Daiichi’s financial restructuring plan set out in early May. These two sales push up Cape values marginally. A vintage Post Panamax has been sold by K line, the Suirei Maru (88,700 DWT, 1996 Blt, Kawasaki) went for USD 4m. Golden Ocean bought two resale Panamax vessels direct from Pipavav yard in India. The deal was concluded at USD 26m (USD 13 each). The first of the vessels has been named, the Ice Bulker 2 (75,000 DWT, 2016 Blt, Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Co) with the second vessel (73,500 DWT, 2016 Blt, Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Co) due for launch later this year. Another resale was also done this week by J Lauritzen; Raven Capital Management bought their Ultramax (61,000 DWT, Dalian COSCO KHI) for 2016 dely at USD 18.4m adding a further Ultramax to its current fleet of 3 Chinese built vessels. Malaysian Bulker carriers have sold the 2003 Blt Alam Murni (53,600 DWT, Iwagi Zosen). The vessel was done at USD 4.7m. A modern Handy has been sold by Dansk Rederi. The Bianco Olivia Bulker (32,200 DWT, 2013 Blt, Jiangmen Nanyang) sold for USD 7.4m. Also sold in the Handy sector is the Orient Dream (32,200 DWT, 2008 Blt, Hakodate Dock), done at USD 7m, bought by Taylor Maritime HK; the Diligance (28,400 DWT, 1995 Blt, Imabari), sold for USD 2.1m; and the Sea Harvest (28,300 DWT, 2000 Blt, Naikai Setoda), done at USD 3.65m”, VV concluded.

Meanwhile, in the newbuilding market, things are still looking pretty barren. According to the latest weekly report from Allied Shipbroking, it was “another week of strong downward corrections in prices being quoted by shipbuilders. Marketing activity is closing to its peak now, with most shipbuilders, ramping up their efforts in hope of managing to secure increased business during the Posidonia Exhibition week. Despite this they will be heard by few interested parties, as there seems to be limited interest in the market for taking up the newbuilding route, especially in sectors such as dry bulkers were the gap between the price offered and that held by secondhand assets is considerable. On the tankers side we still have the majority of potential buyers seemingly being spooked by the freight markets true strength, while several are also trying to ascertain the potential default risk faced by most of the shipbuilders out there”, said Allied.

In a separate newbuilding report, Clarkson Platou Hellas noted that “in Gas, Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) are reported to have placed an order for two firm 83,000 CBM VLGC at Japan Marine United (JMU). Although pricing was not disclosed these vessels are understood to deliver in 1Q 2019 from JMU’s Tsu facilities. No additional conventional orders to report this week, however…

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