This year has seen American owners top the list of buyers of distressed tonnage, snapping up vessels sold at bank sales and at auction deals, according to data provided by VesselsValue.
Asset values reached a 25-year low for bulkers, containers and offshore vessel types in 2016, with a spike in the number of bankruptcies and vessel seizures by banks. US owners have been buying these vessels sold at auction or at bank sales, spending $624m on 52 distressed vessels so far. JP Morgan has been leading the charge followed by Eagle Bulk. The $624m figure comes in at just under double what Greece has spent, totalling $385m.
In 2016, US companies did not buy any vessels at bank sales or at auction, showing a marked shift in behaviour.