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Newbuild prices cool off

Newbuild prices have cooled off in the last fortnight as the volume of orders remains very low in the first seven months of the year.

Clarkson Research Services noted in its most recent weekly report that the newbuilding market has been “relatively subdued” in the year to date, with a total of 441 contracts reported signed, down 43% year-on-year on an annualised basis. Bulk carrier and containership ordering volumes have both been subdued, declining by an annualised 54% and 57% respectively in numerical terms.

Clarkson’s newbuild price index has started to decline for the first time this year.

New York tanker brokers Poten & Partners noted in their most recent weekly report that tanker ordering has been “relatively modest” too this year.

According to Poten data, only 61 tankers of all sizes were ordered in the first six months of 2019, the second lowest tally for the first half of the year since 2011.

As reported last month newbuild orders in all cargo segments in the second quarter were the lowest this decade.

Olivia Watkins, an analyst at VesselsValue, told Splash last month: “Rising steel plate price and uncertainty about IMO 2020 has led to the lowest number of orders placed since 2011 across the shipping sector. New extras which are expensive to fit, such as scrubbers, remain unproven in the market and have caused scepticism.”

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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