Dry bulk orders have quadrulpled in number year-on-year in the first 10 months of 2017, with the emphasis by owners still overwhelmingly on kamsarmax tonnage, according to analysts at Alphabulk.
A total of 287 bulk vessels over 15,000 dwt have now been ordered at yards in the January-October period, four times the number of ships ordered in 2016. Panamax tonnage – which Alphabulk defines as traditional panamaxes and kamsarmaxes – made up 43% of the sum by number, the first time panamax orders have comprised more than 40% of bulk contracts in any one year, Alphabulk data shows.
At a total of 122 ships, the panamax/kamsarmax contracts have exceeded order levels in the past three years, and are the highest since 2013.
Newbuilding prices have also been particularly attractive for this segment. The orders are comprised of just two traditional panamax vessels of 68-78,999 dwt dimensions, with the rest 79,000-84,999 dwt kamsarmaxes, carrying an average deadweight of 82,200 dwt.
Elsewhere, supramax orders have so far reached just 85 vessels, which with six weeks of the year to go could mean ordering in this segment will hit a 12-year low in 2017.
Handysizes, meanwhile, have fallen “firmly out of fashion”, Alphabulk reported in its latest weekly report, representing just 5% of orders by number so far in 2017. Capesizes made up 23% of dry bulk orders in the first 10 months.