ContainersDry CargoOperationsTankers

2021 has already smashed all S&P records with 95 days of the year to go

There’s still 95 days of the year to go, and yet 2021 has already gone down in the record books with more secondhand ships changing hands than ever before.

Latest data from Clarkson Research Services shows that the record S&P activity has seen 114m dwt bought and sold in the first 38 weeks of the year, an annual record. The record prior to this year was 2020 with 101.5m dwt, and before that, 2017 with 92m dwt. Containership and bulker S&P prices are up by around 120% and 70% respectively since the start of the year.

Based on the latest figures, Clarksons suggests the industry is on track for 7.3% of the start year fleet to change hands this year, the highest percentage proportion since 2007. It is important to bear in mind that today’s merchant fleet is over 60% bigger than at the start of the financial crisis 13 years ago.

Data from Allied Shipbroking shows that year to date owners from Greece and China are by some distance the biggest buyers of secondhand tonnage. Selling-wise by nation, Japan tops the charts followed by Greece. As of September 19 this year, a total of 1,450 ships worth $22.08bn had changed hands while for the whole of 2020 1,180 secondhand vessels worth $16.41bn were bought and sold, Allied data shows.

On the outlook for ship sale volumes and prices into Q4, Rebecca Galanopoulos Jones, head of research at brokers Alibra Shipping, told Splash today that the dry cargo S&P market has been firm over the usually quiet summer months and with positive sentiment for dry bulk commodity demand going forward, strong freight and FFA markets, Alibra is expecting this market to remain firm both in terms of sales and prices.

On tanker prospects, the Alibra researcher said: “Tankers are not really moving at all and until there is some evidence of a return in oil demand, it’s unlikely that this market will make much progress in the remainder off 2021.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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